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House Passes Appropriations Bill With Rep. Krishnamoorthi’s Auto-Safety Amendment Prohibiting GSA from Selling Recalled Cars

July 31, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an appropriations funding bill, which included an amendment introduced by Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), to prohibit the General Services Administration (GSA) from selling cars at auction that are under a recall notice. As the federal agency in charge of acquisition and disposal of government property the GSA leases vehicles to federal agencies and then, when they are no longer in use, auctions them off to private buyers. But of the 852 cars currently being auctioned off by the GSA, 15% had at least one recall on them. These recalls pertain to mechanical defects like doors that may open while you’re driving, unintended downshift in gears, cruise control unable to turn off, etc. Passage of this amendment was supported by Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL), who chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government. 

“When consumers buy cars from the federal government, they should not have to worry that the vehicles may be defective,” said Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. “But by auctioning off recalled cars the GSA is putting American lives in jeopardy. My amendment would require the GSA to ensure the safe operating condition of their vehicles before they sell them to consumers.” 

“Thank you, Chairman Quigley, for helping two fellow Illinoisans make our streets safer!” said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. “Our amendment would prohibit the GSA from continuing to fail to ensure all vehicles are in safe operating condition prior to sale. In other words, it stops the sale of used government vehicles with deadly safety defects at auction, putting all road users at risk. This is critical if we are to achieve our mission of getting ALL recalled vehicles off the road. Thank you, Congressman Krishnamoorthi, for your partnership on this.”

“While everyone knows that cars and trucks are only recalled when they are dangerous, most people are unaware the federal government has been selling unsafe recalled vehicles to the public for years. By sponsoring legislation to prohibit GSA from continuing to ignore their responsibility to only sell personal property that is in a safe condition, Representatives Krishnamoorthi and Schakowsky have made significant strides for safety on behalf of consumers,” said Jason Levine, Executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety. “Exploding Takata airbags, malfunctioning fuel pumps, or vehicles prone to a non-collision fire are the types of serious defects which cause recalls. For years we have raised the issue of GSA selling dangerous recalled cars to the public at auction for profit. This provision will hopefully be the beginning of the end for this federal policy under which the government knowingly puts any driver, passenger, or pedestrian who shares the road with these vehicles at risk of injury or death.”

 

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