MINNEAPOLIS - A new study finds one in five vehicles on Minnesota roads has an unfixed safety recall with the potential to cause harm to the car’s owner, passengers or other drivers on the road.
“That equates to more than one million vehicles that people are driving every single day to work or putting kids in with safety issues that could cause fires, crashes, exploding airbags," said Chris Basso, a spokesman for Carfax who did the study. "Things that put you and your passengers at risk."
Carfax used recall information reported by manufacturers and compared it with the numbers of vehicles registered in the states. They found more than one million vehicles with unfixed recalls in Minnesota, a 24-percent increase since 2016.
Nationally, they found 63 million cars with open recalls, a 34-percent jump over 2016.
KARE 11 used a Carfax app which searches license plate numbers to check for recalls and found many customers at a Plymouth shopping center who had unfixed safety issues on their cars.
When we showed the information to Carmen Garcia, she was surprised.
“I really didn’t know that,” she said of a seatbelt-related recall on her Jeep.
It was especially concerning because she transports her son in the car.
Karen Peterson said she was surprised by the high number of open recalls.
“It’s too many,” she said. “I hope the problem isn’t that people receiving the notice aren’t responding.”
Peterson had seen information about a recall on her SUV but the manufacturer didn’t yet have a fix.
Basso said their data shows some recalls are open because there isn’t a remedy available yet. However, he said, that’s not what’s driving the increase.
“The two biggest reasons for that increase are people either not knowing that their vehicle is under a recall, or they haven’t prioritized their vehicle getting fixed,” Basso said.
It is easy to check whether your car has an unfixed recall. Carfax has a free app and a website that allows you to search by license plate or VIN number.
You can also search by VIN number at https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/.