Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center ® has become aware that General Motors Company, Jim Koons Management and Lithia Motors Inc. have agreed to settle separate Federal Trade Commission administrative complaint allegations that each touted how rigorously they inspect their cars, yet failed to disclose that some of the used cars they were selling were subject to unrepaired safety recalls.
The FTC alleges that GM advertised numerous Certified Pre-Owned vehicles at its local dealerships using these claims without disclosing that certain used cars offered for sale were subject to previously announced open (unrepaired) recalls for safety issues. According to the FTC’s complaint, those cars subject to recalls had defects that can cause serious injury, including a key ignition switch defect that can affect engine power, power steering, braking and airbag deployment, problems in the body control module connection system that can affect braking, and chassis electronic module defects that can cause engine stalls.
The FTC’s complaint against Jim Koons Management Company, alleges that some cars were subject to unrepaired recalls, including those involving the key ignition switch, alternator-related defects that could cause unexpected vehicle shutdown or an electrical fire, and a rear suspension defect that could result in a fuel leak or fire.
The FTC’s complaint against Lithia Motors alleges that some of the cars Lithia advertised were subject to unrepaired recalls involving defects in the key ignition switch and other safety issues.
Under the proposed consent orders, which would remain in effect for 25 years, the companies are prohibited from claiming that their used vehicles are safe or have been subject to a rigorous inspection unless they are free of unrepaired safety recalls, or unless the companies clearly disclose the existence of the recalls in close proximity to the inspection claims. The proposed orders also would prohibit the companies from misrepresenting material facts about the safety of used cars they advertise.
These proposed orders will also require the companies to inform recent customers, by mail, that their vehicles may have an open recall. For GM this requirement applies to Certified Pre-Owned used vehicles purchased between July 1, 2013 and the final order date; for Lithia, this requirement applies to Lithia Warranty used vehicles purchased during the same time period. For Koons, it applies to certified used vehicles purchased between July 1, 2013 and June 15, 2015.
If you have a question regarding your General Motors vehicle, you should call the experienced lemon law attorneys at Krohn & Moss, Ltd. Consumer Law Center ®. Our lemon law attorneys will take time to talk to you about your rights and will let you know if they can help. Visit www.YOURLEMONLAWRIGHTS.com or call 1-800-US-LEMON to submit your information to see if we can help.