Proposed law would notify buyers about recalled products

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February 14, 2010 5:45:59 PM PST
New York Senator Charles Schumer is calling for new legislation to protect consumers from unknowingly buying products that are under recall. Right now, businesses are under no legal obligation to notify customers about recalls.

The proposed law was prompted by a 7 On Your Side report highlighting the case of a couple in Queens. Senator Schumer said he saw the report on Eyewitness News and called the incident "outrageous."

7 On Your Side profiled the Queens couple on February 5th. Jon Florencio was leased a recalled 2010 Toyota Corolla on january 25th -- that was four days after Toyota announced its massive recall, but one day before dealers were ordered to stop selling the models.

7 On Your Side went to the Long Island dealer to get the consumers' money back. The general manager, who had just taken over the dealership, acknowledged that if a person was leased a car after the recall, it was wrong.

The dealer refunded the money, but he didn't have to. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said car dealers weren't obligated to tell customers about possible defects, like the acceleration pedals, if the dealers had not been ordered to stop selling the cars.

Senator Schumer's proposed legislation would require sellers to notify consumers buying any recalled product up front.

"From laptop computers to tires to baby cribs to kids' toys, consumers should know that the product they're buying is defective or even dangerous," said Senator Schumer.

The bill would also create the first ever master list of products under mandatory or voluntary recall.