Outstanding recalls could be next used-car issue of interest for Trading Standards

Outstanding manufacturer recalls could be the next issue of interest for Trading Standards in the used-car sector, says the Vehicle Remarketing Association.

The organisation, which represents businesses that handle, sell, inspect, transport or manage more than 1.5 million used vehicles every year, says that it has received reports of dealers being asked about this issue by Trading Standards.

VRA board member Jonathan Butler, of specialist automotive solicitors, Geldards, said: “Trading Standards appear to be looking quite closely at used car sales where retailers have not notified customers that vehicles are the subject of outstanding manufacturer recalls.

“This might be seen as a product safety issue under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 other than in certain exceptions. However, it is not a clear area and one where some dealers could, unless they are very careful, potentially find themselves encountering difficulties.”

Jonathan added that problems could especially arise where retailers do not opt for the outstanding recall option when undertaking vehicle history checks.

“Bearing in mind the small additional cost involved, we would very much recommend this as an action by all used-car dealers. In our opinion, it should form part of best practice procedures that are undertaken before vehicles are advertised for sale.”

Sam Watkins, chair at the VRA, said: “Keeping members abreast of legal developments such as these is one of the most important functions of the VRA and we will be discussing this issue in detail at our next meeting in Birmingham on July 10.”

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