Owners of recalled vehicle are alerted by mail.



salespeople will tell us about used cars with unrepaired safety recalls,

some of which have seriously injured drivers.>

ANNE-MARIE GREEN: Well, 2015 saw a record number of auto recalls. Maybe you were affected. More than fifty-one million vehicles were affected. And many had potentially dangerous defects.

ANTHONY MASON: Owners of recalled vehicle are alerted by mail. But what about defective vehicles sitting on used cars lots? Anna Werner investigates.

(Begin VT)

MAN #1: If you see something you like, let me know we`ll take you for a test drive.

ANNA WERNER: We`re on an undercover shopping trip in New Jersey to see what salespeople will tell us about used cars with unrepaired safety recalls, some of which have seriously injured drivers.

MAN #2: Any recalls, anything pertaining to this vehicle got done.

MAN #3: Any issue, we are responsible.

ANNA WERNER: Take this BMW X5 at Premier Auto Group of New Jersey. The federal website that tracks recalls says it has a defective airbag. But when we asked a salesperson named Naji (ph) about airbag recalls, he told us--

Like how--

NAJI: I don`t think the X5 will have this problem.

ANNA WERNER: At this Penske Acura dealership, we found this 2012 Acura TL with the airbag defect still unrepaired. But salesperson, Nicole (ph), told us--

NICOLE: We`re a corporate complex so we won`t-- we won`t sell anything that`s going to give us a bad reputation.

CHRIS (ph): Clean Carfax, clean condition.

ANNA WERNER: At this Auto Lenders, a salesman named Chris admitted his dealership does sell cars with the airbag defect, but told us not to worry.

CHRIS: There`s only two or three people killed by it but they don`t even know what`s causing it.

ANNA WERNER: But he`s wrong. At least eleven people have died due to those airbags, and regulators did find the cause, a problem with a volatile chemical compound. At dealerships around the country, we found used cars with not only those recalled airbags, but other serious safety defects being sold, everything from brake corrosion to faulty ignitions to rollaway hazards. Clarence Ditlow heads the Center for Auto Safety.

CLARENCE DITLOW: Any outstanding safety recall is serious, it can lead to a crash, a death, or an injury; and you should never buy a used car that has an outstanding safety recall in it.

ANNA WERNER: Problem is there is no federal law that requires used car dealers to inform you about unrepaired safety recalls on the cars they`re selling and those defects can prove tragic.

ALEXANDER BRANGMAN: I lost my best friend. I lost my child. And, in my mind, it was something that was preventable.

ANNA WERNER: A Takata airbag explosion took the life of Alexander Brangman`s twenty-six-year-old daughter, Jewel. In a minor car accident in 2014, the driver`s side airbag exploded.

ALEXANDER BRANGMAN: It was a fender bender; so she should have walked away from it. If you can imagine a hand grenade and shrap metal of a hand grenade, it hit her carotid artery and she bled out. She lost nine pints of blood. She coded three times.

ANNA WERNER: Her car was a rental. But a used car buyer could face those risks for as long as they own the car.

MAN #4: What can we do for you?

ANNA WERNER: We wanted to know what some of the salespeople we had spoken to undercover had to say about those recalls. At Auto Lenders--

CHRIS: I`m not sure if I`m allowed to talk on camera.

ANNA WERNER: --they referred us to corporate, who told us before selling a car, they "...share the vehicle`s Carfax report--which includes accident and title history, odometer readings and recall information--with all buyers." The other dealers told us they disclose recalls, too, but Ditlow, who watched our undercover video, is skeptical.

CLARENCE DITLOW: What they-- they may have a stack of papers somewhere in there it might said; but if you go to the average used car dealer, they`re not going to say, "Look, this car has an outstanding safety recall on it. You need to get it fixed."

ANNA WERNER: Back at the Acura dealership, we asked Nicole--

Did you know that this car has an open airbag recall?

NICOLE: I did not.

ANNA WERNER: Should that car be out there?

NICOLE: No, it should not if it does.

ANNA WERNER: That dealership later told us it was a mistake, and they had pulled the car from the lot. And remember the dealership with the BMW X5 with the airbag recall?

So my name is Anna Werner, I`m with CBS News.

The manager there told us he would have checked for any recalls before we bought the car, but that doesn`t stop him from selling it.

Do you feel like they`re safe with that recall?

NAJI: They`re not safe, but I mean, it`s BMW, you have to go to BMW and ask them how they let these cars stay on the road.

ANNA WERNER: For CBS THIS MORNING: Saturday, Anna Werner.

(End VT)

ANTHONY MASON: All those dealers told us that had we gone further in the buying process, they would have disclosed the unrepaired safety recalls. Two said they do not sell cars with the airbag recall and hold them back but couldn`t explain how they wound up for sale on their lots. A major used car dealership association told us a new law won`t solve this problem, and that it`s auto manufacturers and the government who should take responsibility. They say the used car dealers are as much victims of this as the customers.

ANNE-MARIE GREEN: Mm. Well, coming up, the science of sport. The U.S. Olympic team gains an important advantage from the latest developments in technology. We will show you how. But, first, here`s a look at the weather for your weekend.


ANTHONY MASON: Up next, medical news in our Morning Rounds, including protecting children from lead poisoning. Plus, Doctors Holly Phillips and Melissa Goldstein on keeping your kids` summer activities safe. You`re watching CBS THIS MORNING: Saturday.



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