We recently had a customer post an interesting question on our Facebook page: “The vehicle announcement states ‘will run but unsafe to drive.’ What’s up with that? Someone still bought it?” So I reached out to ADESA’s regional business manager Doug Shore, who sits a few offices down from me, for an answer. Doug shared:

A dealer new to the lanes may not understand why someone would want to purchase a vehicle with an “unsafe to drive” announcement. Well, there are a number of reasons a car may be deemed unsafe to drive. It could be something as simple as bad brakes or a shattered windshield that obstructs visibility. Or, it could be more substantial like structural damage or a problem with the transmission.

Regardless, many dealers view this type of vehicle as a valuable addition to their inventory, especially when vehicle supply is tight and tax time is in full swing. Most of the time, they can fix minor repairs easily at their shops. Even with something like structural damage, a dealer may still choose to repair the car. If they have it inspected and assign it a rebuilt title under the appropriate state titling laws, that car is eligible to be back out on the road. Or, they may decide to use the vehicle for parts or even salvage it out if it can’t be put back on the road.

So the next time you see a yellow light on a car in the lanes, it means there’s an announcement and you need to listen closely to determine the severity of any damage or branding on the vehicle. The bottom line is that safety comes first at ADESA. So to keep our employees and customer’s out of harm’s way, we ensure sellers make the appropriate announcements if a vehicle is deemed unsafe to drive.

To read more about NAAA’s arbitration policy, which ADESA endorses, click here. There is an entire section on the industry’s standardized light display system that describes the condition and disclosures about a vehicle being sold.