Get safety recalls fixed or risk prosecution, DVSA warns car dealers

Time 8:30 am, February 21, 2018

MOTOR traders who sell cars with outstanding safety recalls are breaking the law, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has warned as it launched a new service designed to help buyers and dealers check if cars are safe.

The General Product Safety Regulations 2005 say that dealers must get cars with outstanding recalls fixed before selling a vehicle to a consumer. If they don’t, they can be prosecuted by Trading Standards.

The rules apply to all commercial sales – from online sellers, authorised dealers and franchises to small, independent high street firms.

The new service – at – uses data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and lets anyone wanting to buy a used car, and existing car owners, to check if it has an outstanding safety recall via its registration number.

It joins the DVSA’s service to check the MOT history of a vehicle, which allows buyers to check whether a car has a current MOT and if it has been well maintained.

DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said: ‘It’s an offence for a motor dealer to sell a car with an outstanding vehicle safety recall. They need to get it fixed before a car is sold.

‘This new service allows you to check if a specific car has any outstanding vehicle safety recalls, making it potentially dangerous, simply by entering its registration number.’

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘Car makers in the UK have a world-leading record for successful safety recalls, and dealers need to keep themselves up to date to ensure every used car they sell is safe.

‘This new service using SMMT data now makes that even easier, allowing them to see whether a car has any recalls outstanding at the same time as checking its MOT history.’

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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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