KSL INVESTIGATES

Gephardt: Why Now Is The Time To Get Your Car’s Safety Recall Fixed

Feb 18, 2021, 6:57 PM | Updated: 8:07 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may have you putting many things on the back burner. But if that includes fixing your car’s safety recall, you really shouldn’t put that off any longer.

If you’ve been putting off getting your car’s recall fixed because of inconvenience, COVID-19, you think your car is too old or just the thought of plunking down your hard-earned cash — well, none of those are good reasons to wait any longer.

Buckle up for this rising road risk: According to recall data provided to the KSL Investigators by CARFAX, there are 55.7 million recalled cars being driven that have not had their recalls fixed. That’s up 5% from 2019.

Those unfixed recalls range anywhere from software glitches to defective airbags and fuel leaks that can spark fires.

“It’s concerning because the prior two years we saw decreases from 2017 through 2019, in the number of open recalls on the road,” said Emelie Voss of Carfax.

The good news is in almost every case, recall repairs are free. That’s not just new cars — it includes cars up to 15 years old.

Almost every car recall repair will be serviced for free at a dealership. (KSL-TV)

But the onus is on Utahns to get their cars into dealers for recall repairs, despite delays caused by parts shortages from high demand or supply chain slowdowns caused by COVID-19.

“Everyone who owns these (recalled) vehicles should be reaching out and (be) in contact with their local dealer to find out – consistently – if the status has changed and if they can bring their vehicle in,” Voss said.

Once their car is in the shop, drivers are not legally entitled to a free rental car or a loaner from the dealer, which is why now is a good time.

“A lot of us are driving less right now,” said Voss. “So there may be no better time than now to get a recall issue taken care of.”

Even during a pandemic. Speaking of which, dealers and service shops have adapted.

“They’re offering ‘white glove’ service,” she said. “Many dealers will come pick up your vehicle and take it to the dealership to get serviced – whether you need an oil change, or you want to get an open recall fixed.”

Many dealerships will pick up your vehicle for service. (KSL-TV)

You might not even know your car has a safety recall — notices do get lost. Check its Vehicle Identification Number through a recall database like Safercar.gov, so you’ll know if something critical needs fixed.

Also, if you already have a favorite mechanic you still need to take your car into the manufacturer’s dealership to get those repairs fixed. Even if you are its second or third owner.

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Gephardt: Why Now Is The Time To Get Your Car’s Safety Recall Fixed