Two Colorado state agencies are taking action after a Denver7 investigation exposed the state’s sale of potentially dangerous vehicles to unknowing consumers.
In November, Denver7 Investigator John Ferrugia reported the state sold dozens of retired fleet cars on eBay without disclosing incomplete safety recalls to the new buyers. The recalls included flaws linked to injuries, crashes and deaths.
Denver7 also spot checked almost 1,600 of the state’s fleet vehicle database and found close to 400 vehicles currently being driven by state employees with incomplete safety recalls. The state fleet consists of more than 6,000 cars. Dozens of the vehicles had recalls issued prior to 2013 which still had not been addressed.
After Denver7’s investigations aired, the state added a line to its eBay listings saying, “THIS VEHICLE MAY HAVE AN OUTSTANDING RECALL. CHECK VIN NUMBER PROVIDED AT https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/vinLookup.”
The Colorado Department of Correction, which runs the auction program, informed Denver7 Investigators it is sending letters to all 175 consumers and car dealers who bought vehicles on eBay in the past year to notify them that their vehicles may have incomplete safety recalls, and again refers consumers to NHTSA’s VIN-specific recall database to see if their vehicle is affected.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for fleet management now admits the state does not have an organized list of recalled fleet vehicles still in need of repair because it did not have an organized effort to get recalls completed in each department.
The agency is now reaching out to automobile manufacturers to develop a complete list. Once that process is complete, the state says it will begin scheduling repairs.
But the state did not say when or if it plans to notify state employees who are currently driving cars with active recalls.