And many of these affected cars have yet to be repaired. In fact, the NHTSA estimates that a quarter of recalled vehicles are never fixed. There are about 60 million recalled vehicles on the road that have not been repaired, according to CarFax. Even though the repairs are free, many vehicle owners never get their cars fixed.
Some owners may not even know that their cars have been recalled. If a car was purchased from a dealer, a recall notice is sent via mail. However, many owners are no longer at the address, have since sold the car or just don’t pay attention.
Don’t let a vehicle recall on one of your cars slip through the cracks. These are significant safety issues, which need to be addressed. It is a good idea to check recalls yourself every year. NHTSA’s website recalls.gov or safecar.gov enables you to easily do that with the following tools:
- Check open recalls on your vehicle using the 17-digit VIN. Your VIN can be found on the registration card and on the vehicle dash. This tool tracks recalls for the past 15 years, so is especially helpful for used car owners.
- Search for vehicle recalls using the make, model and year of your car.
- Sign up for email alerts on the latest vehicle recalls.
The NHTSA is working on other proactive tools for recalls – apps and automatic alerts in the vehicle. Until then, and even after, put your safety in your own hands and occasionally check for recalls.