Millions of Recalled Cars Are Unrepaired – Is Yours One of Them?

June 12th, 2018 by Wapner Newman

Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series Philly Drivers Warned by NHTSA

More than 57 million cars on the road have unrepaired defects, according to Carfax. The owners of these vehicles have either ignored recall notices or aren’t aware of the recalls, some of which are life-threatening.

The Carfax report says that light trucks and minivans account for the largest number of unrepaired vehicles, and those are the vehicles that are often essential for small business owners and families. Those vehicles may be unrepaired because people simply can’t get through a day without them.

Fortunately, most recall-related repairs can be completed in a few hours, so with a bit of planning, vehicle owners should be able to arrange a time to take their car to the dealership.

How Recalls Are Overlooked

If you have a used car, and you bought if from a private seller or an independent dealer, you might not necessarily receive a recall notification. Small, unbranded dealers and individuals are not authorized to perform recall-related repairs – those can be performed only by mechanics who work for auto manufacturer dealerships. Even if someone is selling a used car that has an open recall, they are not required to repair it.

When buying any car – new or used – it’s a good idea to check the vehicle identification number (VIN) on Carfax, to see if there are any applicable recalls. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration also has a recall page where you can enter your VIN to search for recalls.

Pennsylvania is one of the five states with the most open (unrepaired) vehicle recalls, so even if you think no recalls apply to your vehicle, it’s worth your time to make sure that’s true.

Why People Put Off Recalls

People may have good intentions of taking their car in for a recall-related repair, but they keep putting it off because it’s an inconvenience. In some cases, people may not realize just how serious the defect in their vehicle could be. All recall-related repairs are free. The minor inconvenience of being without one’s car is preferable to a costly and serious crash.

Dangerous Defects

In March, Ford recalled 1.3 million Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans for a defect that can cause the steering wheel to become loose or detach. Dozens of drivers reported their steering wheel detached while the car was in motion.

The largest ongoing recall in United States history involves Takata air bag inflators. These devices can become unstable and cause the air bag to deploy and explode unexpectedly, and they have caused at least 20 deaths worldwide. About 100 million vehicles worldwide – 42 million in the United States – have been recalled to replace the faulty inflators.

Unfortunately, recalls often occur only after a driver crashes due to a defect or malfunction.

If you have any questions about this topic or believe that a defective vehicle part caused your crash and injuries, the attorneys at Wapner Newman can help. For almost 40 years, we have been the trusted advocates for countless personal injury victims and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We offer risk-free consultations and work on a contingency basis, which means that we do not require you to pay any fees until we have secured a recovery on your behalf. We encourage you to contact us today.