INDIANAPOLIS — New numbers reveal Indiana ranks 16th in the country when it comes to states with the most open recalls on vehicles.
Carfax data shows more than 1.1 million vehicles in our state have unfixed recalls — an unaddressed safety issue with things like tires, brakes and airbags.
Safety recalls are issued in conjunction by the federal government and manufacturer.
They send vehicle owners a notice by mail, but many people mistake it for junk mail, which is one reason why one out of five vehicles on Indiana roads has an open recall on it.
In 2021, pickup trucks and minivans are the vehicles most likely to have unfixed recalls, Carfax data shows.
"There's an awareness gap,” said Emilie Voss, a spokesperson for Carfax. “Vehicles get sold, people move."
Recalls range in severity — some are minor, like a window issue, while others are more serious like defects with brakes and airbags.
It’s a problem WRTV Investigates has been tracking for years.
Many people think a car dealership or seller, like on Craigslist, will disclose open recalls to you, but a WRTV Investigation found that’s often not the case.
"Don't assume that the dealer or the seller has taken care of any open recalls,” Voss said. “That might not be the case, and it's worth checking on any used vehicle you're looking to purchase. There’s a federal law in place that protects a new vehicle from being sold with an open recall but that’s not the case with a used vehicle."
Here’s what you can do.
Anytime you bring your car in for service, have them check for open recalls.
You can also go to sites like Autocheck, Kelly Blue Book and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website and put in your Vehicle Identification Number.
Carfax also offers a free recall monitoring service called Car Care.
"Not only do we track it in that moment in time to see if there's an open recall, we continue to monitor it every single day, so if there's an open recall a week from now we'll send you an email to let you know there's an open recall on your vehicle,” Voss said.
If a recall does pop up when you run a check, call your dealership to see if you can bring it in.
Fixes usually only take a couple hours and are federal law says it's completely free to you.