1 in 6 cars has an open recall

It’s true. According to a recent article at CarFax 52 million cars have been recalled. Has the car you’re driving had all its recalls performed? More importantly, has the car you’re thinking about shelling out thousands of dollars for had all its safety recalls performed?

It may surprise you, but not everything get reported to history sites. It’s a great place to start, but there’s only one way to tell if your dream car is up to date on recalls–climb under the car and physically examine it. A shocking number of the cars rolling down the road next to you have something potentially wrong with them, severe enough that a government agency compelled an auto maker to provide a free fix to that make and model.

When you think about it, that’s a big deal.

Imagine this. You go to a local dealer and find the car of your dreams. That dealer just took the car in and got it cleaned up for sale. No oil leaks, good tires, it looks like a great little car. The manufacturer has a great reputation and they’ve been making that model for several years. The bugs are worked out. You want it now, and there doesn’t seem to be any incentive for anyone to go looking for a problem.

Then you buy the car and drive it home. As soon as you get merged onto the freeway the airbag deploys without warning for no reason whatsoever.

That nightmare scenario nearly happened to a local customer in Oregon. He had the forethought to get an inspection from a local independent inspector. The recall popped up on the inspection. The dealer was honestly horrified. They worked with the buyer and had the safety recall fixed at automakers expense. It took a day. That’s it. One day and no money from the buyer or the dealer. That’s just one more dealership that has specifically told the inspector, “you guys are welcome back any time.”

There’s three elements to road safety 1) the roadway condition, 2) the driver and 3) the vehicle condition. You control two out of three parts of your destiny. It’s time to consider your cars recall status and as always, never buy a car without an independent inspection.

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