WATCH | Congressman vows to act after a Circa investigation finds the feds selling cars to the public with potentially dangerous open recalls.
'Someone should be held accountable'
A lawmaker on the House Oversight Committee is vowing to take action after a Circa investigation discovered a federal agency selling cars to the public with open recalls.
Rep. Mark Meadows, Chairman of the Government Operations subcommittee, says: "It's too early to tell who's going to be held accountable but certainly someone should be held accountable." Meadows' comments come after Circa discovered hundreds of cars with open recalls for sale at public auctions staged by the General Services Administration.
Congressman wants answers
Selling used vehicles with open recalls is legal, but Rep. Meadows says the federal government should be held to a higher standard.
He says he intends to write the GSA, requesting more information about why it does not offer specific notification about recalls to potential buyers.
However, the GSA does warn bidders and buyers that cars for sale may contain recalls and to check with NHTSA or local dealerships to know for sure.
It's troubling to me that I have an investigative reporter who is able to find things our federal employees have not found.
Rep. Meadows also says he's concerned about Circa's discovery of service tags on some auctioned cars that appear to indicate they were driven by federal employees after a recall notice, but before the cars were retired.
If we haven't repaired them, then there's another issue about the health and safety of potential people who have been using the vehicle.
The recalled cars up for auction had been leased to 23 agencies, including Homeland Security, the State Department and even the Executive Office of the President. The GSA wouldn't disclose which specific vehicles were linked to each agency.
Law enforcement vehicles in spotlight
It's not known which specific cars were driven with active recalls, with the exception of law enforcement vehicles Circa found on a specific Maryland auction lot. Those vehicles had tags that indicated some had been on the road as long as three years after a recall.
"We have a great deal of respect for police officers and we should do everything we can to protect them," said Clarence Ditlow with the Center for Auto Safety. "So if there's a recall on an officer's car, fix it, don't let them drive it."
Need to be more 'detail-oriented'The GSA declined on-camera interview requests and didn't respond to specific comments related to the use of recalled vehicles by federal workers. Congressman Meadows is demanding answers.
"We'll take immediate action on this," he said."We have to be a lot more detail-oriented in our disclosure as a federal agency, and I'm hopeful that because of the work your team has done that we'll start to see some real progress with the GSA in the near future."
Think you've been impacted? Circa can help
Bought a car at a GSA auction in the last three months? Circa wants to hear from you.
You supply the VIN and we'll help you figure out if the car you bought from the feds has a recall.
Contact Joce Sterman on Twitter @Jocefromthenews