Auto safety regulators are escalating an investigation into another potentially deadly problem with airbag inflators that may explode.



potentially deadly problem with airbag inflators that may explode.>

recent death in Canada. As many as eight million vehicles in this country

could be affected.>

JOSH ELLIOTT: Auto safety regulators are escalating an investigation into another potentially deadly problem with airbag inflators that may explode. The ARC airbags have been linked to two injuries in the U.S. and a recent death in Canada. As many as eight million vehicles in this country could be affected. A CBS THIS MORNING investigation found used cars with faulty Takata airbags and other serious defects are still for sale all around the country. Now one car dealer agrees that it`s a problem, and is pushing for change. He spoke with Anna Werner. Anna, good morning to you.

ANNA WERNER (CBS News Correspondent): Good morning. That dealer saw our undercover shopping investigation at used car dealers, where we found cars with unrepaired safety defects being sold, and no law requiring detail-- dealers to tell consumers about the recalls. Now, he says there should be a law against selling those cars, period.

(Begin VT)

ANNA WERNER: How many consumers do you think really understand recalls?

EARL STEWART: I would say maybe one in ten.

ANNA WERNER: Earl Stewart believes recalls should be made obvious to shoppers, so at his Toyota dealership near West Palm Beach, Florida any used cars for sale with defective Takata airbags are clearly labeled right on the windshield.

Is this how you marked them, Takata recall.


ANNA WERNER: This is pretty well spells it out.


ANNA WERNER: Right here in the windshield?

EARL STEWART: It does. Yes.

ANNA WERNER: The notice posted underneath even tells a shopper that these defective airbags may seriously injure or kill the driver.

EARL STEWART: Our purpose is to be bold and unmistakable, clear and conspicuous.

ANNA WERNER: That`s the opposite of what we found in our undercover investigation. Not only were the cars we saw not labeled, but salespeople either didn`t tell us about recalls, or didn`t even know about them.

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

ANNA WERNER: Stewart contacted us after he saw our story.

Were you surprised by what you heard those salespeople saying?

EARL STEWART: No, it was exactly what goes on every day.

ANNA WERNER: He even had his own "mystery shoppers" check twenty Florida car dealers, to see whether they`d disclose Takata airbag recalls.

EARL STEWART: We called on the car that was advertised and they denied that that car had has a safety recall, all twenty.

ANNA WERNER: Not one. He says with no law requiring disclosure, salespeople aren`t inclined to do it.

EARL STEWART: Is a salesperson that feeds his family based on commission going to look the customer in the eye and say this has got a potentially deadly recall. They don`t have to do it. They feel like why should I? It`s going to cost a sale.

ANNA WERNER: Stewart says he still sells the cars to keep up with competition. But given the dangers, we wanted to know why he`s selling them at all.

How are you going to feel if one does explode in a car that someone bought from you here--even with disclosure--and they are severely injured or killed?

EARL STEWART: I ask myself that exact same question, how would I feel? I would feel absolutely terrible. And I feel like I`m caught, I`m stuck, I don`t have-- I don`t have a choice. I`m doing all I can and that`s not enough. There`s got to be a law. They`ve got to make it illegal.

ANNA WERNER: For that to happen, he says he needs the support of the Florida Automobile Dealers Association. Their president, Ted Smith, told us it`s under discussion, but they want manufacturers to take financial responsibility.

TED SMITH: So is there an answer? Absolutely. But the answer doesn`t come-- have to come from the consumer or the dealer. It should come from the automaker.

ANNA WERNER: Is that passing the buck?

TED SMITH: No. It`s assigning the responsibility where it belongs.

ANNA WERNER: One of the manufacturers` associations told us ".automakers work individually with their franchises and in every instance the dealer is compensated for their work." But for now, the cars are still being sold all over the country.

EARL STEWART: How can you possibly sell a car to a customer, that you know has got a safety recall that could potentially kill that customer? How can that be? It has to be illegal. It has to be.

(End VT)

ANNA WERNER: Well, and it turns out, one of the places you won`t find cars with serious safety recalls being sold now is Earl Stewart`s own dealership. He tells us that our interview prompted him to rethink what he`s doing and he`s now stopped selling any cars with recalled items that call injure-- cause injuries or deaths, open recalls. Which means he`s currently holding back somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty cars or more, he says by the end of the year it`s probably going to cost him half a million dollars, that decision alone.


GAYLE KING: Wow. He`s a rare guy. You can tell he was conflicted though even in your interview, Anna.

ANNA WERNER: He was conflicted and he said to us, he said, you know what, after your interview, he said I have to tell you, it`s-- it had a big impact on me and I can`t do this anymore.

NORAH O`DONNELL: I have a feeling, he talked to his lawyer.

ANNA WERNER: I think that Earl Stewart--

GAYLE KING: I don`t.

ANNA WERNER: --is a guy who-- he really was conflicted and he was-- it pushed him over the edge. I think he was right there hovering to begin with.

GAYLE KING: Yeah. I felt that and I already feel if I was there, if you want to buy a car from him.

NORAH O`DONNELL: Yeah, he`s the--


JOSH ELLIOTT: I find it terrifying that ninety percent of dealers don`t know how to handle a recall. That`s what I think.

GAYLE KING: Thank you Mister Stewart. Thank you, Anna.

Taking dumpster diving to a new level. Ahead, why officials in one city say, the way these people are cooling off, well it just stinks.

But first, it`s seven forty-seven, time to check your local weather.



GAYLE KING: A block party, it is over for some creative Philadelphians who turned dumpsters into pools. That`s right dumpsters. So they reportedly power-washed the empty garbage dumps and then lined them with plastic before tapping into the nearby hydrants that filled them with water. The city says a reason for the ban, well, it should be obvious.


GAYLE KING: It`s obvious.

NORAH O`DONNELL: All right. Ahead, America`s rookie Olympic swimmers. You`re watching CBS THIS MORNING.


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