The importance of checking a used car for its recall status

… is illustrated by this death, which probably could have been avoided if the recall repair had been performed:

Good point. A careful car buyer should check the NHTSB website and also the IIHS: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

As I get older I find headlight ratings have become more important. There is wide variation in headlight performance.

I replaced two airbags this week, there are thousands of vehicles that have not been repaired. Many vehicles have not been to a dealer in ten years so no one has checked for incomplete recalls.

Some owners don’t respond to recall notices, in 2018 I repaired a vehicle that had 4 recall notices on the front seat.

1 Like

I did an inspection on a Taco-the owner never got the frame replaced :roll_eyes: Why anyone would, turn down an almost “new” truck under warranty? Though, I think these people don’t get the work done because the dealership will try to upsell stuff they think they don’t need.

As Nancy Reagan said in regard to drugs, “Just say no”.
I think that we have all had the upsell experience, but most of us have the ability to say, “No, thank you”, and that was the end of the upsell attempt.

1 Like

I worked at a toyota dealership-every truck was gone over-so the owner would not come back and say "it wasn’t like that when I dropped it off, plus, some of the work was parts only, no labor because of the work involved in taking the body off the frame. And, with the drivetrain exposed, replacing-i.e. timing belt-exhaust manifold is a tad easier.

Our shop management software is tied into recall databases, when a customer brings in a car, we can tell them right at the service counter if there are any outstanding recalls on their car and recommend they see the dealer for the service required. I’ll bet half of the people we give recall notices to just throw them in trash on their way out.


Recalls seem to be an inconvenience for some people.

Four years ago a co-worker asked me to inspect a 2005 Jeep Liberty that his daughter was interested in buying. The vehicle needed a number of repairs including lower ball joints.

The lower ball joints had significant play, these were covered by a recall. I gave this person a list of needed repairs and the report from FCA showing 3 incomplete recalls. The used car lot was to correct these problems.

A year later the vehicle was in for failing window regulators, I again informed my co-worker that these ball joints were loose and will be replaced for free via the recall. He replied that his teenage daughter failed to make an appointment with the dealer.

Two yeas after purchase a ball joint failed disabling the vehicle. Grandpa towed the vehicle to his house and replaced the ball joints.

I wouldn’t expect a teenager to do this…why didn’t your co-worker schedule the appointment?

1 Like

He doesn’t have time for that, he is a service advisor. He should have taken the vehicle to the jeep dealer himself but some people believe that a 19 year old should be able to manage their own lives. When I was 18 my step father told me to join the army, no one was going to help me with rent or auto repair.

At 19, yeah she probably should have been able to handle that herself (not knowing her personal life of course). That said, I agree with you, he should’ve just done it himself. And to be fair to a 19 year old, they may not understand automotive recalls. She may have been worried about paying for it not realizing that it is free.