Would You Sign a Liability Document When Buying a Used Car?

August 19th, 2014 by

CAM_MY14_0012_V001Buying a used car has many benefits, making it the first choice for a lot of consumers when they need to purchase a vehicle. You can find some really great deals on nice used cars that still look like new but you want to make sure the vehicle you’re purchasing is safe to drive. This includes having the dealer inform you about any potential safety hazards that may result in the manufacturer recalling the vehicle but that’s not something used car dealers are used to doing.

When a recall is issued, there is a law imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that requires all new vehicles under that recall to be properly fixed before the vehicle is sold. The problem is that this law does not apply to used vehicles. Therefore, dealers are not obligated to say anything to you about it.

Some believe that not providing this type of information is deceiving consumers. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission received petitions from some consumer groups expressing their concerns. They want dealers to tell consumers about any problem that may result in a possible recall due to safety issues, before the buyer signs the papers and drives off the lot in a vehicle that could be dangerous.

While there is no law in effect yet for used vehicles, Honda has come up with a plan. They’re asking consumers to sign a disclosure when they purchase a vehicle associated with the recall for defective front airbag inflators.

What Is the Liability Document?

According to an article in Automotive News, called “Honda pushes dealers for buyers’ signatures on airbag liability”, Honda dealers are asking anyone that buys a used vehicle associated with a specific recall to sign a document. It’s called the “Airbag Inflator Recall Disclosure and Acknowledgement Document,” and it states that the buyer was made aware of the fact that certain models may have a defected airbag.

Instead of deploying, these airbags can explode sending metal shrapnel around the vehicle. This creates a very dangerous situation in which anyone in the vehicle could be hurt or even killed. However, there are mixed feelings about this document and not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.

Would You Sign the Liability Document?

Would you sign the liability document Honda is using? In a way, it’s a good thing because they are making consumers aware that there is a problem with certain airbags and you are taking a risk when you purchase one. Later when they issue a recall for that particular model, you can get the problem fixed but in the meantime, you’re still taking a risk. Many dealers believe that this could hurt business and prevent them from being able to sell these particular used cars.

Another concern is that if you’re willing buy a vehicle that you know has a defected part that could possibly result in injuries or death and something did happen, Honda would not be responsible in any way. After all, you bought the vehicle with full knowledge that this was a possibility and they have your signature on the document to prove it.

Some dealers believe that this document is hurting sales while some consumers believe that it releases Honda from their responsibilities if something did happen, so is it a good idea or not? How do you feel about it? Wouldn’t you want to know about the potential problem before buying a vehicle? Would you sign this type of document and buy the car or shop for a different type of vehicle?

Posted in Car Buying