CARS Congressional Testimony

Since 1982, CARS founder Rosemary Shahan has been repeatedly invited to testify before Congress, on behalf of the car-buying public, by members of Congress from both sides of the political aisle. The first invitation was issued by U.S. Senator John Danforth (R-MO), who sought her testimony in support of requiring auto manufacturers to install air bags.
Unsafe, recalled rental cars

S 921 The Rachel and Jacqueline Houck Rental Car Safety Act of 2013

Introduced by Senator Schumer and Co-sponsored by Senators Schumer, Blumenthal, Boxer, Casey, Feinstein, Gillibrand, McCaskill, Murkowski, and Schatz

U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance

May 21, 2013

Testimony of Rosemary Shahan, in support of enactment: PDF

Video of the hearing, and testimony of other witnesses: US Senate website
U.S. Senator John D. Rockefeller, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, invited CARS Founder Rosemary Shahan to testify regarding the public policy implications of S 921. This Act, named in honor of the memories of Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, would prohibit rental car companies from renting or selling vehicles under a federal safety recall, once they have received notice from the manufacturer about the safety recall, unless the necessary repairs have been performed.
Stop Forced Pre-Dispute Car Dealer Arbitration
In 2008, U.S. Representative Linda Sanchez, Chair of the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, invited Rosemary to testify in support of a bill authored by Rep. Chavez that would prohibit auto dealers from forcing customers to agree to submit disputes to binding mandatory arbitration, as a condition of purchasing a vehicle.

In a breathtaking display of hypocrisy, dealers have opposed granting consumers the same rights they enjoy. Auto dealers received a special exemption from Congress from the Federal Arbitration Act, freeing them from mandatory arbitration in their disputes with auto manufacturers. When dealers sought the exemption, some members of Congress were reluctant to side with them -- until the dealers promised, in writing, not to oppose restoring the same constitutional rights to consumers.

National Automobile Dealers Association's letter to Congress

But -- surprise! They lied. Breaking their promise to Congress, they have been very actively opposing consumers' getting the same rights, and they killed Sanchez' bill. As a result, car buyers continue to be deprived of their constitutional rights, and are getting trapped by auto dealers in no-win situations.

Rosemary's testimony in Support of The Automobile Arbitration Fairness Act (H.R. 5312)

Video that shows what happens to vehicle owners suffering from auto dealer forced arbitration abuse
Flood Cars and Salvage Fraud
In 2005, in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, U.S. Senator George Allen (R-VA), Chair of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs, Product Safety and Insurance, invited her to testify about the hazards of flood cars and auto salvage fraud. She testified on a panel with representatives from the National Association of Attorneys General and American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and auto interests, in order to provide the public interest perspective.

Rosemary's testimony about the hazards of flood cars and salvage fraud
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C.A.R.S. Mission
CARS is a national, award-winning,
non-profit auto safety and consumer
advocacy organization working to
save lives, prevent injuries, and
protect consumers from
auto-related fraud and abuse.

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CarMax sells cars with
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Buyer Beware! Auto dealers use
forced arbitration
to get away with cheating customers
Even when car dealers flagrantly violate consumer protection laws, you may not be able to get justice. That's because almost 100% of car dealers stick "forced arbitration" clauses into their contracts. If they cheat you, and you try to take them to court, they can just laugh at you. That's because they can get your case kicked into arbitration -- a secret, rigged process that favors big, corrupt lawbreakers. The dealer often gets to choose the arbitration firm, and even the arbitrator who hears your case. Unlike judges, arbitrators are perfectly free to ignore the law.

Dealers claim that arbitration is quick. But Jon Perz in San Diego had to wait over 8 years in "arbitration limbo" before he finally got justice, after Mossy Toyota sold him an unsafe car. CARS produced a short video exposing what happened. More than 1.3 million people have watched our video on YouTube:
See the billboard CARS displayed
right next to Mossy Toyota's car lot,
and read more about how Jon finally won.

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