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.