If you ever bought a used car in Georgia, you probably are familiar with the term “as is.” This is a way sellers use to say – buyer beware. There’s no warranty on the car. New car dealers have to comply with provisions of the state’s lemon law, but no such law applies to used cars. That puts an extra burden on buyers to take extra care.
Considering all the ways car accidents can occur and the breadth of possible injuries – including death – used car buyers owe it to themselves to dig as deep as they can into a vehicle’s past. Answers to questions such as, does this car have any faulty systems, or does it contain any parts subject to recall, could be crucial to seeking compensation if you are injured in a crash.
Auto history services have limits
The reality of the used car market in the United States is that it is growing. According to Cox Automotive, 2016 was a banner sales year and the company predicts 2017 will be better.
In the face of that growth, auto history tracking companies flourish. What they offer is a view into the past of a vehicle, usually based on cross-referencing its unique vehicle identification number with government accident reports. However, the problem according to some experts is that the reports only go so far. If a car was totaled in a wreck and sold under a salvage title, it might be rebuilt and put back on the market with salvage parts. The individual parts aren’t necessarily traced.
This appears to have been what happened in a recent case in Nevada. An 18-year-old girl was driving the family’s used car when she was involved in a relatively minor wreck. The collision was sufficient to trigger the air bags, however, and what the family didn’t know was that the device was a Takata air bag that the U.S. government ordered recalled because of a dangerous igniter system. When it went off, shrapnel tore through the girl’s neck. The unit had been in another car and the best anyone can guess is that it was salvaged and reused.
Where questions after a crash exist, an experienced attorney’s skill can improve chances that victims will recover the maximum compensation possible.