Los Angeles

Will Carmakers Fix a Recall On a Salvaged Car?

David Nassaney, a retired mechanic from Valencia, can usually trust an experienced eye to spot problems on used cars. That's why the salvaged title on a 2004 Hyundai Sonata didn't worry him.

"It was the right price, right mileage," he said. "Pictures of it looked clean."

After buying the vehicle, he learned it had an open safety recall for a faulty taillight, but when he visited a dealership to have the recall performed he said he hit a snag.

He said the Hyundai dealership wouldn't fix it.

Federal law requires car manufacturers to pay for safety recalls. All drivers have to do is bring it to a dealership. But Nassaney says he was told the recall warranty didn't apply to salvaged cars... He'd have to pay out of pocket.

"You're telling me, because it just happens to be a salvaged vehicle I'm out of luck?" Nassaney said. "It's not fair."

The I-Team contacted the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration which confirmed being salvaged is not reason for a manufacturer to deny a recall.

Under the law, they must replace that defective part as long as the car is drivable.

There are about 2.3 million cars with open safety recalls in Los Angeles alone, according to Carfax's Chris Basso.

"Recalls are meant to keep the vehicles safe and performing as it should," he said. "It seems like this was just a miscommunication."

And sure enough, Hyundai told the I-Team "a recall is a safety concern" and reached out to Nassaney to get his open recall fixed.

Nassaney is finally at ease over the safety of his vehicle, but said he'll steer clear of purchasing anymore salvaged cars in the future.

"I learned my lesson," he said.

The hyundai dealership nassaney visited says it didn't have a record of his first visit, but confirmed right away that they do fix salvaged vehicles.

All safety recalls are tracked by NHTSA. To check if your car has an open recall, you can enter the VIN of your vehicle at SaferCar.gov.

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