1 in 5 Florida Cars Has an Open Recall

Safety recalls happen. While it’s admirable to shoot for perfection, some problems can’t be predicted. Automakers may find issues that didn’t arise during testing long after vehicles rolled off the production line. That’s where recalls and technical service bulletins come in. However, vehicle repairs are a two-way street. Automakers must submit the recall, but vehicle owners must bring their cars in for repair. In Florida, millions of cars are driving with open recalls, and it could mean danger this summer.

About 3.1 million Florida cars are driving with an open recall

Cars driving on the highway. 20% of cars in Florida have an open recall.
Florida cars | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

News 6 reports that about 3.1 million cars owned by Floridians have an open recall and that “according to the NHTSA, 1,093 vehicle safety recalls affected 22.8 million vehicles in 2021, the highest number in a single year.” These numbers mean that a whopping one in five cars registered in Florida has an open recall and needs a repair of some kind.

Last year, Carfax reported that open recalls affect one in five cars overall, so this isn’t particularly surprising. However, Florida ranks third in the country for recalled cars.

Types of vehicle recalls

A vehicle could be recalled for a number of reasons. Some minor recalls are posted for small fixes and problems that aren’t particularly critical. While it’s still good to get any recall work done, these may be able to wait a bit longer. However, other open vehicle recalls can be more dangerous. Automakers have posted recalls for problems including brake failure, engine fires, or other serious issues.

Recalls are covered on used cars, so even if you weren’t the original owner, you should be able to access these repairs. All recall repair work should be covered by the automaker, so it should cost you nothing to address a recall.

Is it illegal to drive a car with an open recall?

Blurry view of cars on a highway driving both directions
Cars on a highway | Joseph Chan via Unsplash

It’s not illegal to sell used vehicles with an open recall, and it’s not illegal to drive a recalled car, either—though it’s not recommended. Some recalls are more critical than others, and it can be extremely unsafe to drive a vehicle with severe mechanical faults.

You can drive your car with a recall, but neither the NHTSA nor the automaker suggests doing so.

How to get recall repairs

Per News 6, “getting unsafe vehicles off the road is a top priority for NHTSA in the effort to improve highway safety and save lives,” but how can drivers help? Scheduling your vehicle for recall repair this summer should be simple. Call your local affiliated dealership or schedule service online. 

Note that having recall or warranty service completed at a dealership is the only way you can have the work done for free. You can use your favorite mechanic, but they won’t be able to bill the automaker the way the dealership can. You’ll need to foot the bill for the work.

Whatever you do, just never try to fix your car recall yourself.

To see if your vehicle has an open recall, visit the NHTSA’s website.

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