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Deep Dive: Millions of people are driving cars with unfixed recalls, make sure you're not one of them

CARFAX: 53 million vehicles with unfixed recalls
Millions of vehicles with unfixed recalls on U.S. roads
Posted at 4:49 AM, Apr 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 08:40:18-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Right now millions people are driving cars in the United States with unfixed safety recalls according to an annual report released by the experts at CARFAX. News 5 takes a deep dive into the nationwide numbers and the impact here in Colorado.

If there's an open recall on your vehicle you'll usually be notified through the mail, but you may have to look it up yourself. Getting these issue fixed is not just important for your safety, but also the value of your car.

Tens of millions of vehicles with Takata airbags are under recall. Long-term exposure to high heat and humidity can cause these airbags to explode when deployed. Such explosions have caused injuries and deaths worldwide.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging people to get all safety recalls fixed immediately, for free, when you receive a notification from your dealer that repair parts are available.

Total Vehicle Recalls Per Year

"So it's the federal government and the manufacturer teaming up and deciding there is an issue with the vehicle that is causing a safety concern that needs to be repaired. The vehicle manufacturer is taking on the cost of that repair, but you have to do your part and take the vehicle in," said Emilie Voss of CARFAX. "There's not one single recall to be more concerned about. We know the Takata airbag recall has made headlines and for good reason for the last several years. We just saw the 19th death attributed to the Takata airbag recall here in the United States."

According to CARFAX research, there are currently at least 53 million vehicles on U.S. roads with unfixed safety recalls. That is about one in five vehicles on the road. The research revealed pickup trucks and minivans were the vehicles most likely to have unfixed safety recalls.

Carfax - Safety Recalls

"A lot of people aren't aware of an open recall on their vehicle. There is an awareness gap there and vehicle manufacturers do the best they can. They send out notifications in the mail, but we all know vehicles get sold, people move, we get a lot of mail that we just put on the junk mail file and throw it out and never look at it," said Voss.

CARFAX numbers show Colorado is ranked 21st in the country in unfixed recalls. Statewide there are at least 945,000 vehicles that haven't been repaired and in the Colorado Springs / Pueblo area specifically, experts believe there are 158,000 with unfixed recalls.

Carfax Safety Recalls Colorado

Recent automaker recalls:

Completion Rate for Vehicles Recalls by Year

If you aren't aware of any recalls on your current vehicle, but you want to check or sign up for alerts, there are some easy ways to do that online:

Go to NHTSA.gov/Recalls to check your VIN

Sign up to get email alerts about future safety recalls, or download NHTSA's SaferCar app

Owners can check whether their vehicle has an open recall for free at CARFAX or view a state map by visiting: www.carfax.com/recall/