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Shocking Number of Motorists are Ignoring Potentially Lethal Auto Recalls

Original source: Forbes


Carfax reports more than 2.5 million models that have been recalled with Do Not Drive or Park Outside orders remain on the road unrepaired.

While some vehicle recalls are to fix issues as minor as replacing a missing page from an owner’s manual, so-called “Do Not Drive” and “Park Outside” vehicle recalls are the most serious. Last week alone Jeep announced a park outside order for more than 130,000 Cherokee SUVs from the 2014-2016 model years because of a potential fire risk involving the power liftgate control module.

While they’re not especially common, the title search company Carfax reports there have been around 200 such recalls issued by automakers over the past two decades. Worse, the firm estimates that more than 2.5 million models that have been recalled with such orders remain on the road unrepaired, posing a potentially deadly risk to drivers and passengers.

And that’s despite the fact that affected owners can have recall-related fixes made to their rides at no cost via a dealership’s service department.

Ten states alone have more than 70,000 models that have been issued Do Not Drive or Park Outside recalls yet are still being driven. California, Texas and Florida lead the nation with between 237,000 and 245,000 recalled and unrepaired potential ticking time bombs still being driven.

In a Do Not Drive recall, owners are advised not to operate the affected vehicle to avoid a potential accident and/or injury. A Park Outside recall is more serious, involving a fire risk; owners are told to leave the vehicles parked outside of garages and away from buildings.

The most prominent Do Not Drive recall involves faulty airbags manufactured by supplier Takata that would explode and send shards of metal flying into a vehicle’s cabin. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the recall involved 67 million vehicles, with the issue thus far being responsible for 23 deaths and over 400 injuries. The agency reports that as many as 17 million models may still be in use without the necessary repairs made. Worse, NHTSA warns that the problem will become even more perilous moving forward as the chemicals inside the airbags become more volatile.

Recalls are issued when vehicle owners, regulators, or manufacturers determine that a faulty component presents an unreasonable safety risk or fails to meet stated standards. The most common components to trigger safety-related recalls include the aforementioned passenger restraint systems, along with brakes, electronics, steering and suspension components, door latches, fuel pumps, and ignition switches.

Whenever a safety-related recall is issued the automaker is required to contact every owner of record for that particular model by mail. However, it can be difficult or downright impossible for a manufacturer to contact second or third owners, which helps explain why older models typically have the highest percentages of uncorrected recalls.

A complete list of vehicles and affected model years that have been issued Do Not Drive or Park Outside recalls in recent years can be found here on Carfax’s website. In addition, NHTSA maintains a free searchable online database at that allows consumers to determine if cars they currently own – as well as those they’re considering buying in the resale market – are at risk because of uncorrected safety-related recalls. Owners will need to input their car or truck’s VIN (vehicle information number, found on the dashboard on the lower left side) to find out if it’s been recalled and for what reason(s).

Motorists can also register their vehicles with NHTSA and be contacted automatically if a safety issue is discovered via the downloadable SaferCar app for Apple and Android smartphones. The app also enables motorists to submit complaints to NHTSA regarding possible safety problems with their vehicles.

For its part, Carfax will likewise notify users of its Car Care smartphone app of any unresolved recalls, and can also keep track of a model’s service history and remind owners when it’s time to take a vehicle in for scheduled maintenance, among other features. It’s a free download for iPhone and Android phones.

... GO TO Ignoring Potentially Lethal Auto Recalls TO READ MORE

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