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How to navigate used car recalls Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make smarter financial decisions by providing you with interactive financial calculators and tools as well as publishing high-quality and impartial content. We also allow users to conduct research and evaluate information for no cost to help you make financial decisions with confidence. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers including, but not limited 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 when products are featured on the site, such as such things as the sequence in which they be listed within the categories of listing in the event that they are not permitted by law. Our loan products, such as mortgages and home equity, and other home lending products. However, this compensation will have no impact on the information we publish, or the reviews that you see on this site. We do not include the universe of companies or financial deals that could be open to you. Share: Vasily Pindyurin/Getty Images

3 min read Published September 27 2022

Music 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 editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain the confidence to manage their finances by providing precise, well-researched and comprehensive facts that break down complex topics into manageable bites. The Bankrate promises

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We make sure that everything we publish ensures that everything we publish is accurate, objective and reliable. The loans reporters and editors concentrate on the areas that consumers are concerned about the most — the various types of loans available, the best rates, the best lenders, how to repay debt, and many more — so you can feel confident when investing your money. Integrity of the editing

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There are money-related questions. Bankrate can help. Our experts have been helping you manage your finances for more than four decades. We are constantly striving to give our customers the right advice and tools required to make it through life’s financial journey. Bankrate adheres to strict standards policy, which means you can be confident that our content is truthful and reliable. Our award-winning editors and journalists provide honest and trustworthy information to assist you in making the best financial decisions. Our content produced by our editorial team is factual, accurate, and not influenced through our sponsors. We’re honest about how we are in a position to provide quality information, competitive rates and useful tools to you by describing how we earn money. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for the promotion of sponsored goods and services, or by you clicking on specific links that are posted on our website. So, this compensation can impact how, where and in what order items appear in listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law for our mortgage, home equity and other home loan products. Other factors, such as our own website rules and whether a product is available in the area you reside in or is within your personal credit score can also impact the way and place products are listed on this website. While we strive to provide the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include specific information on every financial or credit product or service. If you’re considering a used car purchase, it is critical to know if there’s an open recall for the used car — and, if so then whether it’s been fixed. Used car recalls are typically caused by a malfunction or potential issue related to safety issues. Recalls that are not addressed could cause a car accident or fire which could cause injury to the occupants of the vehicle or causing a jump in . Car sellers must only complete repairs to new vehicles. In the majority of states, dealers aren’t required to repair used vehicles or notify customers of recalls. They might not know there’s a recall. You are responsible for researching the history of the car. How to find out whether a car you are considering purchasing is subject to recalls to determine whether a vehicle has been part of a recall, you can search the . This database is searchable using the car’s VIN, which is located on the windshield of a car’s lower left side, or the year, model, and make in the event that you don’t have the VIN. The NHTSA database contains information on unrepaired vehicles affected by within the past fifteen calendar year. The database contains recalls that were issued by major automakers, motorcycle manufacturers and even some medium and heavy-duty truck makers. Although it’s a useful resource but the NHTSA database doesn’t contain information about vehicles that have already been repaired as a result of an safety recall. The database also doesn’t have any information about international vehicles. Check defect investigations If you do not find any recalls, you can also examine the NHTSA’s monthly investigative reports, which provide information about active defect investigations. A recall often starts by conducting an investigation. You may find that the vehicle you wish to buy is under investigation. If it is, stay up-to-date with the latest developments to be aware of any recalls issued. What should you do if the vehicle you are looking to purchase is subject to recalls If you want to purchase a used vehicle is subject to recall and you aren’t sure about it, don’t lose hope of it. Repairs shouldn’t cost the seller or the buyer any money since the manufacturer is responsible for recall repairs. Get the car’s VIN If you don’t have it If you do discover a recall related to the car’s model, make and year number, get the vehicle’s VIN from the seller. In the section for recalls on the website of the manufacturer. With the VIN you can find out whether your car is included in the recall. Some manufacturer websites also note whether the vehicle has been repaired. Repair the car Manufacturers are required to fix vehicles under a safety recall free of charge. Also, while independent dealers are not legally required to carry out an open recall in accordance with federal law, it will not cost anything to repair the car. Recall laws vary by state, so dealerships in your region may be legally required to make repairs before selling you a vehicle. You can also request the seller to fix the vehicle prior to you buying it. Ask the owner for receipts. If the car you’re buying has been repaired Ask the owner to provide documentation and read the repair thoroughly. Only dealers who carry that brand of car are authorized to complete recall repairs. Independent mechanics are able to do some recall repairs at the owner’s expense. If a dealer did not complete the repairs, you might need to ask a dealer to verify the work was done correctly and thoroughly. The most important thing to consider before purchasing a second-hand car, check whether the car was part of any safety recalls, and if the required repairs were made. The NHTSA is typically the most reliable source to find out whether a recall has impacted the vehicle you’d like to buy. To ensure your safety after a recall you’ve signed up, think about signing up for recall alerts issued by the NHTSA. You can opt to receive these alerts via email or download the NHTSA’s SaferCar application for your smartphone to receive recall notifications. Related Articles: SHARE

Written by Tara Mello Driving for Dollars Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances with precise, well-researched and well-sourced information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into bite-sized pieces.

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