Open Recalls Shockingly Affect 1 in 5 Cars Today, Carfax Reports

Car safety is one of the most important aspects of driving because it’s literally a matter of life and death. In fact, automakers are building increasingly safer vehicles, but sometimes brands still have to issue safety recalls. However, despite manufacturers’ efforts, about 20 percent of cars on the road today have an unfixed recall.

Over 50 million cars are driving around with open recalls

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According to Carfax in a PR Newswire release, about 53 million cars on the road have an open recall on them. This represents roughly 20 percent of cars. However, there’s a bit of good news. Those 53 million recalled cars represent a 5 percent drop from last year, meaning many people fixed their recalled cars. 

On top of that, the record for the most recalled cars on the road was in 2017, when Carfax estimated 63 million vehicles had unfixed recalls. So at the very least, millions of Americans in the past four years have heeded recall notices and taken their cars to authorized service technicians for repairs or replacements.

The states that had the most cars with open recalls shouldn’t surprise anyone because they’re also the most populous states. California is number one with 6.3 million recalled cars, followed by Texas with 5.3 million, Florida with 3.3 million, and New York with 2.1 million. That said, the South leads in percentages. 26 percent of cars in Mississippi, 24 percent in Texas, and 24 percent in Louisiana have open recalls.

Why this issue isn’t so shocking

Carfax provides information to consumers about a car’s history, including recalls. However, the thing with recalls is that many are voluntary. When an automaker realizes something is wrong with a car and issues a recall, it doesn’t force owners to take their vehicles to dealerships for repairs.

Furthermore, when an automaker issues a recall, there’s no guarantee an owner will hear about it. This may be because recalls are routinely issued for older models, so a car that’s several years old might have multiple open recalls on it. There are undoubtedly many other reasons why many owners don’t bring their cars in for repairs, but that’s something automakers and others hope to solve

Which car models have the most recalls?

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Unfortunately, multiple recalls affect some of America’s favorite cars. For example, 10 of the most recalled cars on the market include the Ram 1500 and GMC Sierra. They’re both popular pickup trucks, but they’re also prone to recalls.

The Sierra, for instance, averages about 3.25 recalls a year, while the Ram 1500 is at 1.99 recalls annually. Other popular cars include the Toyota 4Runner, with 1.98 recalls a year, the Dodge Charger with 1.74, and the Chevy Tahoe with 1.54.

However, the top three most-recalled models are from German luxury brands. But this might not be too surprising considering they’re well-known high-maintenance cars. The BMW 3 Series and 4 Series are tied for third place with about 2.95 recalls per year. Second place went to the Sierra, and first place went to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, with a staggering 5.77 recalls annually on average.