GOP congressman caught selling 'dangerous' cars at his dealership


Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), who is also a used car salesman, tried to sell cars with deadly defects.

In you buy a car from one of Rep. Mike Kelly's (R-PA) sells used lots, you may be purchasing one with potentially deadly defects.

According to a late April investigation by Pittsburgh's WTAE, Kelly was trying to sell 17 vehicles that were under safety recalls across two locations.

One of those vehicles contained a defective, explosive airbag that has killed 24 people globally. But Kelly was willing to sell the car without repairing the potentially lethal defect because Pennsylvania law allows him to bury a warning about the unrepaired recall in the buyer's mountain of paperwork.


Kelly's actions are "tremendously dangerous and irresponsible," Rosemary Shahan, president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, told WTAE.

Mike Wega, a local mechanic, told WTAE that most of the defective cars Kelly was trying to sell had critical safety defects. Asked if they should be sold without repair, Wega said no.

"If it's a critical safety issue, no, they should be fixed before they're sold," he said.

In Congress, Kelly spoke out in favor of allowing car rental agencies to rent cars with safety recalls to consumers without fixing the underlying issue.

"There is not a single person in our business that would ever put one of our owners in a defective car or a car with a recall," Kelly said in 2015.

But in 2019, Kelly was more than happy to sell defective cars to unwitting customers. In fact, weeks after WTAE notified Kelly that he was selling more than a dozen defective cars, a follow-up investigation found he was still selling multiple cars with safety recalls.

This is not the first time Kelly's actions as an auto dealer have landed him in the middle of a controversy. In May 2018, Kelly defended the actions of the Republican-led House to do away with anti-discrimination auto loan policies put in place by President Obama.

Despite evidence to the contrary, Kelly quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in claiming there was no racial discrimination when it came to obtaining car loans. In fact, data shows non-white customers typically pay thousands more over the lifetime of auto loans than white customers.

By allowing customers to drive off his lot in defective cars, Kelly put his own personal profit above the safety of his customers.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.