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How To Check If A Used Car Has Been Recalled

March 31, 2014, 10:05 PM by Angela Kennecke

How To Check If A Used Car Has Been Recalled

After its latest announcement, General Motors has now recalled about 5 million vehicles in the first three months of the year. That is about six times the number of vehicles it recalled in all of 2013.

According the National Highway Safety Administration, only 30 percent of owners take their car to the dealer to get fixed. And millions of used cars are on the market that have been recalled for one reason or another, but not fixed

While the massive General Motors recall brings attention to the issue of recalled vehicles, nearly a third of owners won't take their vehicles in to the dealer. 

In fact, Carfax, which sells reports on the history of used cars, says about 3.5 million vehicles out there have defects that were part of a recall, but never fixed. 

Of course not all recalls involve life-threatening issues. But it's still important to check out a car you're considering buying for open recalls. You can get the information for free on this Carfax site.  Just click on the brand and enter the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN. 

You can also check out National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website for all the latest recall information and more details on the recalls. 

If you do find a vehicle you want to buy has a recall, you can ask the seller to fix the defect before you purchase it. If it's something serious, you can avoid buying the car. 

While GM has started off the year with a large number of recalls, it was actually ninth among automakers for the number of recalls in 2013. 

Toyota was first, with about 5.3 million vehicles, followed by Chrysler with 4.7 million and Honda with almost 2.8 million.

If you're having a problem with a vehicle and there hasn't been a recall, you can file a complaint under the NHSTA website and see if other owners are having similar problems that may lead to a recall.

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