Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

Auto Recall Bill Named in Honor of W&L Law Student Moves Closer to Becoming Law

A new bill before the Tennessee state legislature that would require auto makers to repair any vehicle with an open recall before selling or renting the car may soon be a law.

Lara’s Law is named in honor of Washington and Lee law student Lara Gass ‘14L, who died in a car accident in March of her 3L year. Unbeknownst to Lara, the Saturn Ion she was driving had a critical safety defect that caused the driver side airbag to fail to deploy.

After her death, Lara’s family launched the LiveLikeLara Foundation devoted to keeping Lara’s legacy alive. Her family has also advocated for policy changes related to the auto industry.

Lara’s parents, Jay and Gerri, recently described their battle to create the law in a commentary in the Tennessean.

“Right now, a potential buyer could walk into any used car dealership in the state and purchase a vehicle with an active safety recall notice without even knowing it because dealership personnel are not required to inform the buyer about open safety recalls,” they wrote. “That’s a significant flaw in the used car buying process here in Tennessee and across the country.”

Lara’s parents are asking Tennessee residents to urge state legislators to pass the law before they adjourn this spring. You can read the complete commentary online.

Alumni returning to campus for Law Alumni Weekend on April 15-17 can support the LiveLikeLara Foundation during a fundraiser benefiting the Lara D. Gass ‘14L Memorial Law Scholarship. Tickets for the annual beer/wine tasting on Cannan Green from 2-4 p.m. are available at the foundation website.

If you know any W&L alumni who would be great profile subjects, tell us about them! Nominate them for a web profile.