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Beware of buying a recalled car that has not been fixed... Beware of buying a recalled car that has not been fixed (Alamy).
While pinpointing the states with the most vehicles with open recalls for sale, Carfax declared in a study released Monday that choosing to ignore recalls "threatens the safety of consumers everywhere."

Carfax counted more than 2.7 million used vehicles for sale online in 2011 with safety recalls that were never fixed.

The company contends both owners and sellers can help improve public safety by actively checking for open recalls and having them fixed by franchised dealers.

"There's no excuse - recall repairs are free and finding cars with open recalls is easy," Carfax officials insisted.

Carfax discovered California, Florida and Texas lead the nation with the most used vehicles for sale with open recalls, each having well more than 100,000 last year.

Company officials noted automakers are working with Carfax to further alert consumers about units under recall.

A free public service for consumers to check for open recalls using the vehicle identification number is available at recall.carfax.com. Open recall information reported to Carfax by auto manufacturers also is included on Carfax Vehicle History Reports.

Carfax mentioned Bob Knotts, a plumber from Delaware, about how he tells his story in a YouTube video about the hazards of unknowingly buying a vehicle with an open recall.

"My van caught fire from an electrical recall under the driver's seat that was never fixed," Knotts said in his video.

"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 wouldn't have had this $8,000 loss," he continued.

Carfax communications director Larry Gamache elaborated about how the company feels about recalls.

"We're making a lot of progress, but there are still too many open recalls out there," Gamache acknowledged.

"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," he continued. "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," Gamache added.

More detailed information about specific recall campaigns is available at www.safercar.gov.

Click here to get a FREE CARFAX Recall Check.


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  • 9 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      I doubt that my 1966 Chevrolet is on the list.
      • 2 Years Ago
      So I'm considering buying a 2007 Hyundai Elantra, but I found out there are two recalls on it. I'm happy to get them fixed when I get the car, but I live in Juneau, AK and the closest dealership is in Anchorages 700 miles away. Has anyone else had a situation like this? What advice did you get from the company? I'm thinking I should just pass on the car unless I can find and ASE mechanic in town to do the work and confirm it will be covered by Hyundai.
      • 2 Years Ago
      On my 89th birthday I gave up my license to avoid just such a fate. Sure it's inconvenient not to be driving, but think about it, old friends. Then go to your local DMV and smile pretty for a nice safe ID card. Your children and your grandchildren will thank you , and you'll sleep better for doing it.
      ED
      • 2 Years Ago
      there should be a law applied to all car dealers that any vehicle that they have or take in on trade, they must check the recall, if any, on the vehicle and it would their responsibility to get that recall applied to the vehicle before it is sold to the customer.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nobody ever explores past the press release. I have a 2003 Toyota 4runner which has an open recall to "solve" the alleged Toyota unintended acceleration problem. (Remember that? ALL over the media for a few months) The solution? Cut my gas pedal in half. That's it. Never mind that you would have to work very hard at folding the OEM floor mat enough to cram under the pedal, let alone stretch it to cover the gas pedal up. A totally stupid fix which accomplishes nothing - except make it easier for my foot to slip off the pedal when I least want it to. My friend's 4runner had this done when he went to the dealer for an oil change. He had to go to a junkyard and get an unmolested pedal from a wreck to fix it back. Solution? I can NEVER take this car to a dealership for service ever again. This is a legacy of the NHTSA witch hunt against Toyota. Payback for successfully resisting unionization in their North American plants. (NHTSA, you may recall, is run by Roy LaHood -former UAW boss) Union bullying, pure & simple. Worked, too. It hurt Toyota's sales for a couple quarters. Seldom seen in the media is that not one, ZERO of those unintentional acceleration cases involving Priuses, etc. ever were true. ALL proved false. yet this stupid recall bone thrown to Gubbmint lives on. Sigh.
        Rod Venger
        • 2 Years Ago
        For 20 or so years whenever I've gotten a new (used) car or truck, I've pulled up the carpet or floormat and velcroed it in place. I don't know how many cars I've had where the mat wandered around, usually forward where it got in the way of the gas pedal, but that ended when Velcro hit the market. Glue is no good if you ever plan to clean the crud out from under the mat. Velcroed floomats don't don't anywhere.
      • 2 Years Ago
      A safety recall verification check is just one part of the used car buying process. You can also call the manufacture’s dealership with the VIN and ask if all safety recalls have been performed (for free). However, the #1 reason bad cars are purchased is the buyers’ inability to properly determine the true condition of the vehicle, including accident and flood damage. A pre-purchase inspection is the most important part of the buying process. A history report cannot tell the buyer the CURRENT condition of any component and system or accurately tell the vehicle true history. There are 7 problems with a Carfax or any Vehicle History report, visit www.usedcarinspections.org/carfax.htm. To properly inspect today's used vehicles, you need an ASE Certified Master Technician to examine ALL mechanical & electrical components and systems, and a Body & Frame Specialist to determine existing and previous accident damage. Read the “Top 10 Used Car Buying Myths, Mistakes, and Pitfalls” at www.UsedCarInspections.ORG/top10.htm.
        ED
        • 2 Years Ago
        is there a law requiring the car dealer to check the recall of any vehicle that hit their lot?? i dont know myself but if there isnt, there should be one requiring the car dealers to check the recall for the safety of the prospective car buyer and that would be one of the declarations on the document that must attach to the vehicle they are trying to sell.
      Rod Venger
      • 2 Years Ago
      THIS IS A SCAM! I clicked through the link to the "free" carfax recall page, entered my VIN and what I got was a page that said (1) to check with my car manufacturer to see if there were any open recalls (NO mention of whether or not there were any...meaning that Carfax never even looked) BUT, they did give me the opportunity to purchase a Carfax for $34 to check on my vehicle's history. ($44 if you buy 5). This whole article was nothing but an advertisement masquerading as news, the page was nothing more than a bait and switch. The writer should be ashamed, Carfax should be forced to cough up the FREE data that the article and the webpage promise.