Carfax study says nearly 20% of US Cars are under recall

A new study shows that nearly one in five cars in America needs a repair because of recalls. But the numbers vary by car type and location.

Remy de la Mauviniere/AP/File
A Mazda CX-5 is presented at the Paris Motor Show, in Paris (Oct. 2, 2014). Mazda announced Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, that the company is recalling nearly 237,000 CX-5 SUVs from the 2014 and 2015 model years because the fuel filler pipe can rupture in a rear crash and cause a gas leak and possible fire.

We've seen an especially high number of auto recalls over the past couple of years. In 2014 alone, 64 million vehicles in the U.S. were recalled -- a new record. Thanks to the ongoing Takata airbag fiasco and Volkswagen's Dieselgate crisis, dealer service centers will likely be busy for months, if not years to come. 

A new study from Carfax says that nearly one in every five vehicles in America is currently in need of repair due to a recall. Depending on what you drive and where you live, you might be more likely than your friends and family members to be in that number.

The study says that 47 million of the country's 258.5 million registered vehicles require fixing due to a recall, or 18.1 percent of the total number of rides on the road. Last year, the number of vehicles with open recalls was closer to 46 million.

Your chances of driving one of those vehicles are greatest if you live in Alaska, Mississippi, Texas, Utah, or West Virginia. Owners of SUVs and minivans are more likely than their car- and truck-driving peers to have a recall notice sitting in their mailbox. 

Sadly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 25 percent of all recalled vehicles never get repaired

Of course, it bears mentioning that Carfax has a financial interest in making people keenly aware that the car they drive (or the one that they may buy) could be subject to a recall. Those sorts of concerns drive awareness of the company's vehicle history reports, which consumers and dealers have decidedly mixed feelings about

If you're in the market for a new car, or if you just want to see whether your current ride is under recall, we'd suggest starting with a quick visit to NHTSA's VIN lookup tool. Simply enter your vehicle identification number in the box, and NHTSA can tell you what needs to be done.

Shoppers may want to take the extra step of pulling a vehicle history report from Carfax or one of its many competitors, which can provide additional info about other repairs carried out on the vehicle, include accidents in which it might've been involved.

This article first appeared at The Car Connection.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.