Used car buyers may not be told of auto recalls

WASHINGTON - A government watchdog says used car dealers may be selling cars and trucks that have been recalled but not repaired because manufacturers don't send them the same recall notifications that are sent to franchised dealers.

The Government Accountability Office also says in a study released Wednesday that even if used car dealers or franchised dealers know of a recall, there is no requirement that they tell prospective buyers or make the repairs before a sale.

Nor does the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which oversees auto safety, have the power to order dealers to make the repairs or to warn buyers.

The report says the situation could pose a significant safety risk to millions of used car buyers.

More than 35 million used cars were sold in 2009.

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