Why 57M Vehicles Still Have Open Recalls

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May 7, 2018—According to a recent Carfax report, more than 57 million recalled vehicles—greater than one out of every five vehicles in the U.S.—are currently in use across the country. Ratchet+Wrench spoke with Chris Basso, public relations manager for Carfax, to take a deeper dive into the report, and to pinpoint which drivers face these problems the most.

As an update to Carfax’s recent study, Basso said the company found that vehicle types with the highest recall percentages are minivans and light trucks, with an average of one recall needed for every five cars. As Basso says, many of these car owners don’t know about the recalls, or don’t feel they have enough time to bring them in with their busy schedules.

“Time is a critical factor in getting these fixed,” Basso said. “With minivans, there are a lot of busy families relying on their vehicles. With pickup trucks, a lot of people use those for business, and taking it in impacts their ability to work.”

The report noted that Southern states like Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico and Alabama are some of the states with the highest open recall percentages. Basso says it’s no coincidence that those states also have the highest concentration of vehicles affected by the Takata air bag recall, one of the largest and most complex recalls in U.S. history. One major issue with drivers in these states, Basso says, is that they don’t know that cars were recalled for that or for other recalls, or haven’t prioritized in getting it fixed.

Basso said that Carfax gets its information from vehicle manufacturers, who directly report recall info to Carfax, which cross references that info with total vehicles in use. He also says that Carfax has a vehicle recall search service, which alerts customers, government officials and businesses when certain vehicles are facing open recalls.

In regards to the major Takata recalls, several U.S. lawmakers have said the completion rates have been too slow. Some independent shop owners believe their shops should apply pressure to take advantage of these uncompleted recalls.

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