Buying a used car in the wake of so many auto recalls

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Buying a used car is a little more stressful these days because of one small word.

Recall.

It has many potential car buyers wondering if they're putting their safety in jeopardy buying a vehicle with a recall that hasn't been fixed.

We tracked down some car experts to get advice on used car buying in the wake of the multitude of GM recalls and recalls issued by other car manufacturers.

"If you are buying from a corner lot or an individual, don't assume that the vehicle is up to date on its recalls," Jeff Bartlett, the deputy auto editor for Consumer Reports tells WBTV.

His recommendation is to take that vehicle to a dealership where it can be checked for any outstanding issues.

"They can look up the VIN or the vehicle identification number to see what the status of the vehicle is," Bartlett said.

He adds a recall doesn't necessarily mean a vehicle is unsafe.

"It means that it has a risk for something that could cause concerns. The good thing about recalls is that a safety problem has been identified and a fix is available," Bartlett said.

If you're looking for the bright side of this rash of recalls we've been hearing about, there seemingly is one provided you take all of the proper safety precautions after you buy.

"You could use the recall concerns as a leveraging tool in your negotiations. You might save a little bit of money," Bartlett said.

For more information about buying a used car you can visit the Consumer Reports website or this one run by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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