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CARFAX reveals shocking truth about ignored recalls

Posted: May 8, 2012 - 5:19PM
Author: Don Bain
A new Carfax study has revealed over 2.7 million used cars with ignored auto recall issues are currently endangering the safety of commuters nationwide, reflecting the number of manufacturer mandated repairs simply not completed during 2011.


By simply plugging “recall” into the Torque News search box, articles were found reporting over 1 million cars recalled between January and April this year for safety issues by brands as diverse as Ford, GM, Honda, Kia, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota.

Many of these were simply posted for sale online without the safety issues addressed. Caveat emptor! Those buying or selling cars can enhance public safety by simply making sure recalled safety problems have been repaired by franchise dealers. After all, recall repairs are free and it’s not hard to find the open recall for a specific vehicle.

Of course, the problem with recalls is they take up time in your busy life, take away your transportation briefly, and thus leave your obligations unattended without a rented or borrowed vehicle – and all because of something that’s not your fault. Obviously, if you’ve planned to sell, it’s easier to leave the hassle to the next owner, but since you don’t want to obstruct the deal, it goes unmentioned.

The CARFAX discovery is not surprising – it's just shocking to perceive the size of the problem

"We're making a lot of progress, but there are still too many open recalls out there," said Larry Gamache, communications director at Carfax. "Many of these cars change hands without the buyer ever knowing a recall exists, increasing the safety risks both to passengers in the car and others on the road. We all need to do our part to make sure these cars are identified and fixed – buyers, sellers and owners alike. A simple online check for open recalls is all it takes to help make our roads safer."

Bob Knotts is a Delaware plumber who tells his story of the hazards of unknowingly buying a car with an ignored recall in a YouTube video.

"My van caught fire from an electrical recall under the driver's seat that was never fixed," Knotts said. "Had it spread to the back where I keep a propane torch and highly-flammable glue, it would have been a total fireball. Had I gotten the Carfax Report, I would not have had this $8,000 loss."

The populous states of California, Florida and Texas have the most pre-owned cars on the market with open recalls, with well over 100,000 vehicles with ignored recalls sold last year. Complying with manufacturer and NHTSA mandated safety recalls are vital to safety, performance and retained value.

The auto manufacturers are now working with CARFAX to alert consumers about ignored recalls. The automotive history provider has established a free service to consumers allowing them to check for open recalls with their VIN at Open recalls have caused vehicle fires, major accidents and even death. Finding and fixing open recalls is easy and without out of pocket costs.

The company also includes open recall data provided by manufacturers on Carfax Vehicle History Reports. They have designated today, May 8 as Carfax Open Recall Day, encouraging everyone to find and fix ignored recalls.

None of us want to see a movie scene in real life where a vehicle catches flame, careens across four lanes and dives off an overpass into gridlocked traffic below.

Don’t write off or ignore a recall on your vehicle – it could be a threat to us all.