Deficits in the federal government are commonplace. In spite of fiscal reduction efforts, more money continues to go out than what comes in. Various strategies have been employed to decrease the debtload the United States continually faces
One tactic is particular to generate revenue actually put U.S. citizens at risk.
The Government’s Defective Car Dealership
Starting in 2016, the General Services Administration (GMA), a federal agency, decided to sell off government cars no longer in use. A Congressional investigation revealed that some of those vehicles were subject to recalls left open.
Sales resumed four years later with the GSA providing full disclosure to the public about the problems with individual vehicles. The warning took the form of a yellow recall notice emblazoned on their auto sale website. Kicking the proverbial can down the road caught the attention of safety advocates who agreed that the GSA’s “honest approach” does little to prevent accidents and keep buyers safe.
While issues ranged from software problems to ignition switch issues, an unusually high profile and potentially deadly defect involved cars with Takata airbags installed. The manufacturer of those so-called safety devices has been under scrutiny for countless incidents of airbags deploying with metal shards directed at the driver.
The GSA claims that vehicles under “do not drive” recalls are not sold. While they claim that they take care of actionable recalls as fast as possible, they also shift the blame on their failure to complete the fixes, claiming that auto industry limitations prevent efficient access to parts.
Thankfully, for consumers, the GSA “car lot” is likely to be closed. As part of an appropriations bill, the U.S. House of Representatives officially banned the General Services Administration from selling vehicles that had open recalls. The legislation now goes to the Senate.