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Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi Calls On General Services Administration To Halt Sale And Lease Of Vehicles Under Recall And To Provide Information On Its Related Safeguards

September 14, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – On Friday, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, wrote to General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Emily W. Murphy to request information on GSA’s policies on the sale and lease of cars and trucks subject to manufacturer recall. This investigation follows Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s authorship of an amendment which passed the House in July to ban the sale of recalled vehicles, though the Senate has yet to take up the measure.

“GSA does not appear to require that recalls be repaired prior to leasing or selling vehicles,” Chairman Krishnamoorthi wrote. “Despite previous attention to the issue, reports indicate that GSA continues to lease and auction vehicles with open recalls. As of July 7, 2020, nearly 15% of vehicles available for sale to the public on the GSA website were under recall (124 out of 852).”

The Congressman also emphasized the severity of the risks associated with such recalls, writing: “The defects that lead to recalls can lead to fatalities.  Selling and leasing vehicles with unrepaired safety recalls puts the drivers, passengers, and others on the road at needless risk, and ignores the public health.” 

Consumer advocates also welcomed efforts to address the dangers associated with such vehicles. “It is an open secret the federal government sells dangerous recalled cars to the public,” said Jason Levine, Executive Director at the Center for Auto Safety. “It is less well understood that federal employees are taking a chance with their lives every time they turn the ignition switch on an improperly maintained, and potentially defective government vehicle. Thankfully, Chairman Krishnamoorthi is taking action to provide the American people a complete picture of just how far-reaching this unacceptable situation goes, and how little the General Services Administration seems to understand their responsibility for the safety of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.”

In response to the risks surrounding the GSA’s lease and sale of recalled vehicles to consumers, Congressman Krishnamoorthi requested that the GSA refrain from the leasing or sail of any vehicles subject to recall until the completion of the Subcommittee’s investigation and requested the following information by September 23rd:

  1. How many vehicles are currently in the GSA Fleet?
  2. When a manufacturer notifies GSA of a recall as the owner of a vehicle, what is GSA’s process for notifying the agencies in possession of the recalled vehicle? 
  3. What is GSA’s process for ensuring the agencies in possession of the recalled vehicle have the recall remedied?
  4. How many GSA fleet vehicles are currently subject to a recall, or multiple recalls, but have not been repaired?  Provide a list of all GSA fleet vehicles currently subject to recall, including the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for each recalled vehicle and identification number for the corresponding recall(s) in a format such as Excel.
  5. How may vehicles on average does GSA auction or sell to the public each year?  Of these vehicles, approximately how many are under recall at the time of sale?  Provide a list of all vehicles slated to be auctioned or sold that are currently subject to recall, including the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for each recalled vehicle and identification

A copy of Chairman Krishnamoorthi’s letter is available here.