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600,000 cars in Utah need recalls fixed, what is holding up the repair work?

Jun 18, 2024, 9:05 PM | Updated: 10:34 pm

SALT LAKE CITY —  Utah roads can be dangerous, but they are more dangerous than they need to be. According to new data from Carfax, at the end of last year, there were 609,000 vehicles with an unfixed recall in Utah.

That’s 18% of all cars on the roads, 20% of minivans, and 24% of light trucks.

Getting a safety recall fixed is supposed to be easy. By law, you can take your car to an authorized dealership, and they must repair it for free. But it’s not always that simple, as my family recently discovered firsthand.

We received a safety recall notice for one of our cars, but we cannot get the work done. We’ve called the dealership now for months. They don’t have parts, and they don’t know when they’re going to get them.

“This issue here is that federal law dictates that automakers must alert consumers as soon as they are aware of a problem,” Patrick Olsen, Carfax editor-in-chief, said. He explained the recall notice frequently goes out to the owner before there’s a fix available.

“This creates a real problem for consumers where the automaker may have identified a problem, but they have not yet identified a solution,” Olsen said.

He said all safety recalls are serious, but some more so than others.

An exploding airbag with a history of killing or injuring drivers, for example, is certainly more perilous than a window sticker with inaccurate information.

But for 85% of recalls, automakers have come up with a fix and are prepared to install it – if you bring your car in.

“I would say it’s still a risk and I wouldn’t want that risk in my car,” Olsen said. “So, if you can, go get the work done.”

As KSL reported a few weeks ago, the Takata Airbag recall remains a major issue in this country. It has been ten years since the recalls started, after the airbags were blamed for a slew of deaths. Here in Utah, there are still approximately 70,000 vehicles with an unfixed Takata airbag.

And that is one recall where there is not a shortage of supplies.

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600,000 cars in Utah need recalls fixed, what is holding up the repair work?