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Autism news: Safety alert--Dangers to our children in certain cars
January 14, 2020

I never thought I’d be this outraged while shopping for a car. I was so surprised by what I found that I just have to warn other parents.

I thought looking for a car would be fun. Like a number of years ago when my husband drove up to a dealership one Sunday after church and bought a used 1998 Cadillac DeVille on impulse.

That Cadillac drove like a dream and only required one major repair while we owned it.

Recently, my mechanic told me to start looking for another car because the engine on our 2007 Camry was failing. So I began my search.

I didn’t want to pay all those massive dealer fees, so I thought the best place to look would be at smaller used car lots.

My mistake.

What I found was enough to inspire me to write a letter to Consumer Reports.

Every single car I inspected at the smaller lots was a potential death trap.

All of them had hidden damage that had been unprofessionally “repaired.” And a couple of these “chop shop jobs” even had clean Carfax reports, meaning that no accidents had been reported regarding those vehicles (proving that you can’t rely on information in Carfax reports!)

One of these disasters even had water and rust under the floorboards. Mold would have to have been present as well.

These dealers were obviously attempting to hide dangerous flaws.

After my experience at used car lots I shuddered to think that millions of unsuspecting people are likely driving around in “chop shop” cars—which not only endangers themselves and their families, but puts other motorists at risk as well.

So if your family is ever looking for a used car, beware of these slimy dealer tactics. Lots of smaller used car lots get away with such practices because so few states in the U.S. have lemon laws to regulate their practices.

Unfortunately, it appears that we have virtual anarchy going on in the automotive industry because used car dealers think they can get away with fraud.

And according to some former car salesmen, there are also some major dealers who try to pull this stuff, too.

Before ever searching for a car, I read two very helpful books about what to look for in a used car and how to negotiate a good deal once you’ve found the car you want.

The first, entitled Everyone’s Guide to Buying a Used Car and Car Maintenance, is written by Scotty Kilmer, a mechanic who’s been fixing cars for 51 years. Scotty also has a YouTube channel that also helps you learn how to buy your car and maintain it. I'd advise looking at both his book and his videos if you want to learn a lot about those subjects.

I also recommend a book written by two former car salesmen. It’s called Drive the Deal: Beat the Car Dealers at Their Own Game by John Kenda and Michelle McCune.

Both books tell you how to spot and avoid cars that could be unsafe for your family.

And for me, the safety of my children is the most important consideration when looking for a car.

But even if you don’t read the books, it's important to at least have any used car you’re considering inspected by an independent mechanic before you buy it. It’s not very expensive, and it’s worth every dime.

An inspection can reveal whether or not the engine is about to blow or if there are any other expensive problems lurking in the car. It can also alert you if the car has been flooded or wrecked and then patched up to hide the problem.

Now if you’re wondering where my series on behavior problems has gone, I plan to continue that soon. I’m just taking a bit of a detour at the moment. Because lately while I was embroiled in my desperate search for a car, I decided that I must alert other parents about these alarming trends in the used car industry.

Stay safe, and I wish you and your family a very happy New Year.

Warm Regards,

Kay Donato

P.S. I finally decided that the best thing for us right now was to simply replace the engine in the car we already have instead of buying another one. It will be a great relief to our family if we can get our car working again!

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