In the past, when you bought a used car, you may have had no idea of what the car has been through, whether there are any faults with it, repairs, recalls, prior car accidents, etcetera. This would certainly help one purchase a used car.
Otherwise, a buyer would have to base a purchase decision on other factors, such as mileage, the sounds the car emits, and possibly the test drive that you take before finalizing your decision to buy the used vehicle.
Our car accident attorneys believe that the used cars may not always be as safe as they may seem on the test drive and strongly recommend that you get any used car checked with a highly qualified, manufacturer authorized, and certified mechanic.
For instance, when the automobile manufacturers announce a recall of motor vehicles because they discover a safety problem with some or all the cars produced, notices are sent to only the consumers who purchased the new motor vehicles. And with any vehilce, you do not know about design defects until it is too late.
And in the case that the new vehicle had already been transferred to another buyer, this notice may never reach the current owner of that car deemed subject to a recall by the automobile manufacturers (which might prevent an unfortunate car accident). That means there are probably resold used vehicles (which could have had a car accident prevention recall safety device installed) just waiting for a car accident to occur.
Another problem is, what if the previous car owner sold the vehicle with a problem, but never brought it in for repairs, and never told the new owner of the vehicle either? Again, the new car owner may be driving a defective motor vehicle that is prone to an automobile accident someday.
Much like residents in the United States have Social Security numbers, all cars have vehicle identification numbers (VIN or VINS). The difference between Social Security numbers and these vehicle identification numbers is that almost everything official a person does (for example: jobs, criminal records, and financial credit) is linked to a database of social security numbers.
This database is accessible by employers, banks, and other institutions for which this information may be useful (which should only be accessed with an individual’s permission). But for cars, there is no such system. When you take a car to a car repair center, they are not required to record information about the repair to any type of a car ID system network. Plus, the public is not provided access to these records, so even if the repairs were recorded, the car drivers or potential buyers may not be able to review them.
In 1992, a way was found to remedy these types of situations. If there were laws passed that required accurate records on all relevant car activities, such as repairs, checkups, etcetera, and if the general public were allowed to view these records, then used cars may become safer. The new owners of the vehicle may be aware of possible problems with the motor vehicle. And for the manufacturer’s recall announcement, that could be sent to all current owners of the vehicle who, if information was all clearly recorded, would have their contact information in the system, instead of the original car buyers’ contacts.
Unfortunately, however, after the United States Congress promised this system in 1992, no further action was taken. It was not passed into law. But as car accident lawyers, we are pleased to say that this automobile database is finally planned to go into effect on March 31, 2009. Our automobile accident attorneys are often presented with cases where lack of information about used cars has caused tragic car accidents, even wrongful death car accidents, and nothing would be able to repair the loss of a loved one.
The details being worked out now include whether or not automobile owners or to-be owners would have to pay for each time they check from the system. Critics have mentioned that people may choose to not use it in that case, and that leaves gaps open for unfit-to-be-driven motor vehicles on the road. Our car accident attorneys believe that the safety of car drivers and their passengers is most important, so it should be vital that everyone can access the car identification system.
But no matter what kind of vehicle that you have, make sure that it is covered by the best car insurance policy available.
Call us now at 1-858-551-2090 or click here for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney and find out how we can help you. We speak English and Spanish, and we look forward to providing advice for your case. No fee if no recovery.
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines