Carfax: Far More Recalled, But Not Repaired, Vehicles Now Driving U.S. Roads

Total-Recall-placement1

Either people are not getting their cars and trucks fixed as often in the past year or there are just more open recalls on vehicles, or both. Carfax said there are more than 63 million unrepaired vehicles under recall currently in use across the United States. The company says that represents an enormous 34 percent jump over the figure it measured a year ago. The vehicle-history provider gets recall information from automakers and then cross-references it with vehicles in operation.

Its latest data suggests that busy family lives could be one reason recalls are going unrepaired, because minivans and SUVs are the vehicles most likely to be left unfixed. States with the highest numbers of recalled but not repaired vehicles include California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York. Four of those five states have the highest volume of registered vehicles on the road. The outlier is Pennsylvania, which in 2015 trailed Illinois and Ohio for total vehicles registered.

But the list of states with the highest rate of recalled vehicles in use without completed repairs is led by Texas, Hawaii, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, in that order. One in three Texas-registered vehicles is operating with an open recall, according to Carfax data. The high rate for the Gulf states and Hawaii could be related to the Takata airbag recall, which prioritizes warm, humid states. That massive recall has added millions of vehicles nationwide, most them in 2016, and the Takata recalls are taking some time to implement. It may be that many consumers have been unable to have a fix implemented until dealers have parts available.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has also taken a more aggressive approach in recent years, contributing to a rise in the number of recalls, including those that sweep up millions and millions of cars such as the massive ones involving General Motors ignition switches and, earlier, the Toyota “pedal entrapment” floor-mat fix.

Recall Fatigue? 

It’s hard to pin down the exact causes of the double-digit rise measured in 2017, Carfax spokesman Christopher Basso said, suggesting that many car owners are simply unaware that their vehicles are subject to a recall or that consumers may be experiencing recall fatigue. “Unfortunately, with so many recalls happening, it becomes a bit of white noise,” Basso said.

But all recalls happen for a reason, and many of them can affect the safety of the vehicles involved. Carfax has a free service at mycarfax.com that lets car and truck owners plug in license-plate numbers or VINs for up to five vehicles and have recall alerts sent to their mobile devices or email. NHTSA also has a service at safercar.gov, where consumers can enter a VIN and see if the vehicle is subject to an open recall.

  • Honda Adds 772,000 Vehicles to Takata Airbag Recall
  • Takata Airbag Recall: Officials and Automakers Insist Fixes Are Coming
  • Feds Investigate Rotary Shifters in Ram 1500s and Dodge Durangos after Rollaway Complaints

Safety advocates have been pressing recently for legislation that would require car owners to complete the repairs on recalled cars, or more rigorous FTC oversight of used-car dealers to ensure recalled vehicles are fixed or buyers informed of necessary repairs prior to resale.


Car and Driver BlogCar and Driver Blog

Related posts: