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How to navigate used car recalls Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our aim is to assist you make better financial decisions by offering interactive tools and financial calculators that provide objective and original content. We also allow users to conduct research and compare data for free – so that you can make informed financial decisions. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers such as, but not restricted to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Earn Money The deals that are displayed on this site are from companies who pay us. This compensation could affect how and where products appear on the site, such as, for example, the sequence in which they appear in the listing categories and other categories, unless prohibited by law. Our loan products, such as mortgages and home equity, and other home loan products. However, this compensation will have no impact on the information we provide, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not include the entire universe of businesses or financial offerings that might be open to you. SHARE: Vasily Pindyurin/Getty Images

3 minutes read. Published September 27, 2022

Written by Tara Mello Written by Tara Mello Driving for Dollars

Tara Mello Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances by providing precise, well-researched and comprehensive information that breaks down complicated subjects into digestible pieces. The Bankrate promise

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Founded in 1976, Bankrate has a long history of helping people make smart financial choices.

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who ensure everything we publish ensures that everything we publish is accurate, objective and reliable. Our loans reporter and editor concentrate on the points consumers care about the most — the different types of lending options, the best rates, the best lenders, the best ways to repay debt, and many more — so you’ll feel safe making a decision about your investment. Editorial integrity

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If you have questions about money. Bankrate can help. Our experts have been helping you manage your money for over four years. We strive to continuously provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to succeed throughout life’s financial journey. Bankrate follows a strict , so you can trust that our content is honest and accurate. Our award-winning editors and reporters provide honest and trustworthy content that will help you make the right financial choices. Our content produced by our editorial staff is factual, objective and is not influenced by our advertisers. We’re honest about the ways we’re capable of bringing high-quality content, competitive rates, and useful tools to you by describing how we earn money. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We receive compensation for placement of sponsored products and, services, or by you clicking on specific links on our site. This compensation could affect the way, location and in what order products appear within listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law. We also offer mortgage, home equity and other home loan products. Other factors, like our own rules for our website and whether or not a product is offered in the area you reside in or is within your self-selected credit score range may also influence the way and place products are listed on this site. Although we try to offer a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service. If you are considering buying a used vehicle it is essential to determine if there is an open recall for the used car — and, if so the extent to which it has been fixed. Recalls for used cars are usually due to a fault or potential issue related to safety concerns. Unrepaired recalls could lead to a car accident or fire, harming the occupants or even causing a crash . Dealers must only make repairs on brand new vehicles. In most states, dealers aren’t required to repair used vehicles or notify buyers of recalls. They may not even know there’s recall. You are responsible for researching the history of the car. Find out whether a car you are considering purchasing is a subject of a recall To find out whether a car has been involved in a recall or not, you can look up the . This database is searchable using the VIN number, which can be found on a car’s windshield lower left, or the year, make, and model if you don’t have the VIN. The NHTSA database contains information on not repaired vehicles that were affected in the last fifteen calendar year. The database also contains recalls from major manufacturers of motorcycles, automakers as well as some heavy and medium-duty truck manufacturers. Although it’s a useful source but the NHTSA database is not able to give information on vehicles that have been repaired as a result of an safety recall. The database also doesn’t have any information on vehicles from other countries. In the event that you don’t find any recalls, examine the NHTSA’s monthly investigative reports, which include details on ongoing defects investigations. Recalls usually begin by conducting an investigation. You might find that the car you want to buy is under investigation. If so, keep abreast of the investigation to find out whether a recall on the car has been announced. What to do if a used car you’re interested in is part of recalls If you want to purchase a used car is subject to recall and you aren’t sure about it, don’t lose hope of the possibility of getting it. Repairs won’t cost the seller or the buyer any money since the manufacturer is responsible for recall repairs. Take the vehicle’s VIN in case you don’t have it. If you notice a recall on the car’s make, model and year, you can get the vehicle’s VIN at the time of purchase from the vendor. Enter it in the section for recalls on the website of the manufacturer. With the VIN you can find out whether your car is part of the recall. Certain websites of manufacturers also indicate whether the car has been repaired. Get the car repaired Manufacturers must repair cars that are subject to a safety recall at no cost. So while independent dealers aren’t obliged to conduct an open recall in accordance with Federal law, this should not cost anything to repair the car. Recall laws vary by state, which means dealers in your area could be legally required to make repairs prior to selling you a vehicle. You can also request the seller to repair the vehicle before you buy it. Ask the owner for receipts. If the car you are buying has been repaired and is in need of repairs, ask the seller for proof of repair and then read the repair thoroughly. Only dealers that carry the car brand are authorized to carry out recall repairs. Independent mechanics are able to complete some car recall repairs for owners at their own expense. If a dealer failed to complete the repairs, you might require a mechanic to confirm that the work was completed properly and thoroughly. When you are looking to purchase a used car, research whether the car has been involved in any safety recalls and whether the required repairs were made. The NHTSA is often the most reliable way to determine whether a recall affected a car you’d like to buy. To ensure your safety after a recall the recall, you should sign to receive recall alerts sent through the NHTSA. You can opt to receive these alerts by email or download the NHTSA’s SaferCar app for your phone to receive recall notifications. Related Articles: SHARE

Writers: Tara Mello Driving for Dollars Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to manage their finances by providing concise, well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complicated subjects into digestible pieces.

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