According to Carfax, during 2015, some 51 million motor vehicles in the U.S. were impacted by recalls-the highest number on record. From faulty ignition switches to defective airbags, in many cases these recalls relate to problems that, if not repaired, could result in a driver or passenger suffering serious or fatal injuries.
Despite the growing attention paid to massive recalls like those involving GM ignition switches and Takata airbags, the number of consumers who respond to recall repair notices remains surprisingly low, topping out at 75 percent for the "most deadly defects" and 30 percent or less for many of the recalls impacting older vehicles. These types of abysmal recall repair rates have prompted the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration to call upon both auto manufacturers and dealers to be more aggressive in their recall notification efforts.
At the same time that the NHTSA is pushing for more oversight with regard to holding auto manufacturers and dealers accountable for notifying consumers about recalls, a recent investigation by WFAA-TV revealed that many car dealers continue to actively market and sell vehicles that have been recalled, but not repaired.
For the investigation, reporters traveled to several car dealerships around the Dallas area and identified vehicles, via their vehicle identification number, that were on the Takata airbag recall list, but had not been repaired. Dealer after dealer initially claimed that all of the vehicles on their lots were defect-free. However, when confronted with the damning VIN information, dealers openly admitted to not checking vehicles for recall notices.
According to Carfax, 20 percent of the motor vehicles that are currently on U.S. roads "have recalls that have not been fixed." There is currently no law that requires that car dealers check vehicles for recall notices or take steps to repair those vehicles.
Individuals, who have unknowingly purchased a vehicle that was on a recall list and subsequently suffered financial harm or physical injuries, may choose to consult with an attorney who can help determine what parties may be at-fault and assist in the recovery of damages and compensation.
Source: WFAA.com, "Deadly defect: Takata airbags: COUNTLESS CARS WITH DANGEROUS RECALLED AIRBAGS ARE FOR SALE ACROSS TEXAS. BUT NO ONE IS TELLING CUSTOMERS," Taeler De Haes, April 11, 2016
NBC News, "Millions of Recalled Cars Roam the Road, Potentially Risking Lives," Paul A. Eisenstein, April 11, 2016