KENNESAW, Ga. - More than 47 million vehicles have at least one unfixed safety recall, that's according to Carfax.
If you're shopping for a used car right now, buyer beware. Dealers don't have to disclose recall information, and we found dealerships in Atlanta selling these recalled vehicles, so make sure to do your homework.
Miriam Lancaster is shopping for a used car. With the growing number of recalls out there, she's seen some dealers change how they address the issue.
"At first, they were disclosing it. You'd see these ads that say, "recall free," but it's taken so long to get the parts to fix them that now they're just kind like...giving up," Miriam says as she throws her hands up in the air.
Of course, in the largest U.S. auto recall ever, the government has deemed nearly 70 million air bag inflators unsafe.
"I am very concerned about the airbags because I was involved in a serious car accident about 15 years ago where the airbag saved my life," adds Miriam.
"Recalls are a major issue. There is a recall problem in America, but it's not the number of cars being recalled, it's the amount of those recalled cars not being fixed," says Chris Basso, with Carfax.
In Atlanta, roughly one million vehicles have outstanding safety recalls and some of them can end up on used car lots. At Mini of Kennesaw, they say they fix any open recalls on their lot.
"The consumer needs to know about it and it also gives them the peace of mind that we've taken care of something before the sale that quite frankly they shouldn't have to deal with when buying a car," says Street Nalley, General Manager of Mini of Kennesaw.
"The good news for us as consumers is that there are lots of dealers that are paying attention to recalls and they're disclosing them before they sell you the car, or they're getting them fixed," Basso says.
However, not all dealerships are as forthcoming with that information, and legally, they don't have to be. So it really comes down to you doing your homework.
"You really need to pay attention, as the consumer to whether a vehicle has a recall. A recall doesn't have to be a deal breaker, but it should definitely be a consideration before you lay down your hard earned money," Basso adds.
"You have to look out for yourself. You have to look at the Carfax. It's very simple when you go online, there's tools you can use," encourages Miriam.
One common misconception about recalls is that not all of them are serious, but any recall issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is for your safety and should be taken seriously.
You can use the my-Carfax app or their website to enter the vehicle identification number of any vehicle to check on open recalls.