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Vehicles with open recalls can pose a safety hazard to others

Motor vehicle recalls must be fixed or the vehicle can't work as intended. While it is possible that some recalls aren't safety critical, many are. If you find out that your vehicle has a recall, you need to follow the steps as soon as possible to get it corrected.

The issue that might come into the picture with automotive recalls is that it is sometimes difficult to let the vehicle owners know about the recalls. When you purchase a vehicle new from a dealership, that dealership will have your information and will likely be able to pass it along to the appropriate people when there is a recall.

For people who buy used cars, the process isn't so easy. It might be possible to have the vehicle registered to you in whatever database the manufacturer will use. Some of them use state registration databases to alert vehicle owners, but others rely on dealership information.

It is estimated that there are more than 57 million motor vehicles with uncorrected recalls on the roads in this country. Minivans and light trucks have the highest incidence of unfixed recalls. This means that owners might have to decide between having the recall fixed and the need to continue using the vehicle without having it out of service while it is fixed.

Every vehicle owner needs to think about their own safety, as well as the safety of others on the road when trying to decide if they will fix a recall. Determining what to do if you are struck by a vehicle with an active recall might be difficult because you have to determine where to go for compensation.

Source:, "Study estimates there are more than 57M vehicles on US roads with unfixed recall," Benjamin Raven, April 11, 2018

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