5 On Your Side

One in four recalled cars rolls on, unrepaired

Posted June 13, 2018 6:16 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 11:14 a.m. EDT

Most people know about the largest auto-related recall in history, prompted by defective Takata airbags in 37 million vehicles, but millions of other vehicles are also under recall.

Many people don’t realize hundreds of auto recalls are issued each year, even for older cars, and those recalls put all drivers at risk.

Experts say one out of every four recalled vehicles on the road has not been fixed.

“It’s staggering when you think that there are millions of car owners out there who may not even realize their vehicles need repair,” said Consumer Reports Auto Editor Jon Linkov.

Four months ago, Ram recalled 1.5 million trucks because of a faulty gear shifter after several people were hurt. The recall impacts models as far back as 2009.

BMW recently recalled 700,000 cars, some built in 2006, for faulty wiring that might result in a fire.

Toyota recalled more than 300,000 minivans, some from as far back as 2005, for a problem with the shifting lever that increases the risk of a crash.

“We can’t emphasize enough how important it is for car owners to check whether their vehicle has been recalled,” Linkov said.

To help protect drivers, Consumer Reports created a car recall tracker. Drivers can enter the year, make and model of their vehicle and get a list of recalls and information on how to get the car fixed.

Safety-related repair work should be done free of charge by an authorized dealer.