The GM ignition switch recall has put a light on all vehicle recalls. According to Carfax, 3.5 million cars were listed for sale online in 2013 with an open safety recall. That means they were never fixed. More than 64,000 of those were on the market in Washington alone.
Christopher Basso with Carfax says the economic impact this puts on consumers is more than $1 billion.
“Those vehicles can impact the safety, performance and resale value of those cars,” said Basso. “It's really an alarming issue in the wake of recent recall stories that we've seen."
I decided to look online for cars for sale in the Seattle area with GM open safety recalls. I found a 2005 Chevy Cobalt that needs an ignition switch replacement, a 2013 Chevy Cruze that could need its front axle right half shaft fracture replaced, and a GMC Acadia with an open air bag recall.
It’s easy to track down this information. First, check the automaker’s website for the latest recalls. Then get the Vehicle Information Number and plug it in to see if your car is up for repairs. Carfax has a free database that shows if a specific car's recall issues have been repaired.
“If you're buying a car that has an open recall, make sure it gets fixed before you buy it,” explained Basso. “Ask the seller to fix it. If you've already bought one, it’s really simple. Just call your local franchise dealer and make an appointment to have that car fixed. It's free to find these cars. In most cases it's free to fix them.”
Get the recall information before you buy. Otherwise, the price of waiting will be all yours.