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Three Of Every Ten Recalled Cars Not Fixed Within 18 Months


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As a consumer, you may think that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does a good job of making sure defective cars get recalled and repaired. Not so, says the Government Accountability Office, who recently revealed that only 70 percent of recalled cars and trucks were repaired within 18 months.

The GAO wants the NHTSA to step up its efforts in notifying consumers, including improving their recall database website and providing notifications to used car buyers.

The GAO’s concern is legitimate, since many recalled vehicles are never repaired. If a car is sold to a family member or friend, it may be easy to provide contact information in the event of a recall; if a car is traded in to a dealership, it would likely be impossible to determine who the new owner of the vehicle is. Since manufacturers can’t track down owners not listed in their databases, the job of ensuring recall compliance would fall under the NHTSA’s jurisdiction.

The NHTSA currently has a searchable database of vehicle investigations and recalls, and consumers can sign up to receive e-mail alerts about vehicle recalls. Dealers will also perform recall repairs (generally at no charge to the consumer) even if a vehicle’s warranty has expired.

When in doubt, contact a local dealer, who can verify if a particular recall repair has been performed on your vehicle.

[Bloomberg]

 
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Comments (3)
  1. Seeing as this information must be freely available to the government via the DMV, I can only blame the government for failing to notify the new owners of recalled un-repaired cars
     
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  2. @Andy, it's indeed a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. Remember that recalls are set at the federal level, while DMV operations are at the state level. Even if the NHTSA embraced your suggestions, the states would push back until they received additional funding to support such a plan.
     
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  3. You could tell the NHTSA not only do not care about helping you but actually sound like they do not want your car repair. Clearly, when you talk to them, you feel like they are on the car maker side. Very frustrating, and it leaves you on your own, practically.
     
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