Edmunds finds a lot of recalled cars do not get fixed

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Scrapyard

A large number of cars subject to recall are going unrepaired. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

An investigation by Edmunds has revealed that a large number of cars that are recalled by manufacturers don’t get fixed. A good number of similar inquiries have found similar results of many owners not getting repairs done that could save their lives.

Stand by your van

Earlier this week, Ford announced a recall of Windstar minivans in the state of Virginia. The issue was that salt used to deice roads in winter could cause the rear axle to crack. The recall was an expansion of an earlier recall for the same thing that was announced in 2010.

Despite the original recall being announced nearly two years ago, according to the Boston Globe, only 60 percent of Windstar vans in the recall have been fixed for the problem, which has caused several crashes and one death in Massachusetts. Many of the cars had been scrapped, but a good number are believed to still be on the road.

Edmunds, the car review and information service, conducted an investigation into cars with unperformed recall repairs, finding that a good number of cars involved in recalls don’t get repaired.

Chronic problem

The number of cars varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and recall to recall; some recalls aren’t for anything life-threatening. However, some are and the repairs might not be getting done.

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For instance, Ford has recalled roughly 16.6 million various car, truck and SUV models since 1999 for a faulty cruise control switch. The switch can overheat and cause a fire but despite the risk, only 48 percent of the recalled vehicles have been repaired.

Similarly, General Motors issued a recall in 2009 for 1.4 million GM-brand cars with 3.8-liter V-6 engines, which were catching fire when oil dripped onto the engine block. In 2008, 207,000 GM cars had been recalled for the same problem in cars with the turbocharged variant of the same engine. Fewer than 800,000 of the cars on both recalls still haven’t been repaired. General Motors recently told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that only 52.5 percent of recall repairs are completed overall.

CarFax.com, according to Cars.com, found also that up to 2.7 million cars are on the road that never received repairs they were due in a recall.

A crapshoot

Renting cars can also be daunting. Rental fleets, according to USA Today, aren’t mandated to fix cars that are recalled, though almost all of them do of their own accord. Senator Barbara Boxer (D – Calif.) recently sent letters to major rental car organizations asking them to publicly agree to not sell or rent cars under recall.

Used cars are usually where the danger lies. Because many cars change hands several times in their lifetime, it can be hard to know whether necessary recall repairs have been done. Edmunds recommends registering the Vehicle Identification Number with the manufacturer and checking with them to see if the car has been repaired or still needs to be repaired due to a recall.

Sources

Edmunds

Boston

Cars.com

USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/travel/story/2012-05-07/Senator-challenges-rental-car-companies-on-recalled-autos/54810792/1


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