Vehicles with Unfixed Recalls Account for a Third of all Cars

Unfixed RecallsUnfixed recalls are a big issue, but because they are mostly unseen most people don’t think about them. They should! As you travel down the highway, about one in every three cars you encounter has unfixed recalls on it, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data. To support their findings, Carfax research shows there may be as many as 36 million vehicles on the road today that are in need of some sort of repair as a result of a recall.

Over time, the typical rate of recalled cars and trucks repaired as the result of a recall stands at about 75%. While that seems fairly high (and it is), let’s put things into perspective. Think about how many cars have been recalled this year alone – and we’re only about halfway through it. One-quarter of that total is a staggering number of cars! 

Why So Many Unfixed Recalls?

Why is there such a high number of unfixed recalls? Sometimes, a vehicle owner will receive a recall notice in the mail and mistake it for an advertisement or “junk mail” of some kind. To combat this from happening so often, the NHTSA is now requiring automakers to put the notices in new envelopes that contain the words “IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALL INFORMATION,” and include the US Department of Transportation and NHTSA logos.

Other reasons cars go unfixed include vehicles being sold, owners moving to new homes, and even some people who choose to ignore the notices because they don’t believe their issue is serious enough to deal with.

Automakers Working to Improve Numbers

Car manufacturers are working to improve this number through a combination of communication avenues that include phone calls, social media and follow-up direct mail pieces. Additionally, beginning in August they must provide a complimentary Internet-based recall search consumers can use by entering the 17-digit VIN number. Once there, they can see if a recall has been issued – and if they are not the original owner they can also see if a recall has been fixed by the previous owner.

To sign up for alerts through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Website, It features a mobile application that will send information to a phone.