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Senate move to ground recalled vehicles stalls

October 6, 2017
A U.S. Senate panel on Oct. 4 unanimously gave the green light to a bill aimed at speeding the use of self-driving cars without human controls, a measure that also bars states from imposing regulatory road blocks. 
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved the bill, and the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a similar measure last month. 
An amendment to the bill, to prohibit auto dealers from selling, leasing or wholesaling any used vehicles under open recall, failed to receive a vote in committee. A coalition of auto industry trade associations argued that such a move would raise used-car prices.
The coalition also noted that because of the shortage of auto parts, it can take months for recalled vehicles to be repaired. As a used vehicle depreciates on average 2 percent a month sitting idle on a dealer’s lot, the action would force a dealership to pay consumers significantly less for trade-ins with open recalls, or to not accept them at all.
And faced with devalued trade-ins, vehicle owners would have an incentive to sell their vehicles in the private market, making it even less likely that recall work would be done in a timely manner, if at all.