Vehicle Recalls by Make and Model
A free vehicle recall check is something you can do at any point during the pre-purchase process. We recommend checking for vehicle recalls by VIN number before you inspect the car. Get the VIN of the vehicle from the seller. Sometimes it's listed right in the ad. By using the VIN to look up recalls here on CleverCustomer.us, we'll also decode the VIN and provide you with information encoded within the VIN about the vehicle. These include items you can double-check against claims in the ad or with the car itself when you see it. This may include the date of manufacturing, the engine type, and other vehicle specifications. In addition to that, we'll look up any related NHTSA Five-Star Crash Ratings for the vehicle. That's:
- Vehicle safety recalls
- NHTSA Five-Star Crash Ratings
- Vehicle specifications
- ...for free!
If you don't have the VIN of the vehicle, you can also look up car recalls by make and model. We won't be able to get the vehicle specifications without the VIN to decode, but you'll get the recall information and crash ratings. You can email the reports to yourself.
Recalls Are Important
Vehicle recalls are always done because they are related to safety. It's important to be aware of recalls on your car. There is no cost to repair issues covered by recalls. The manufacturer will pay for the repair. There is no expiration deadline to have recall repairs performed. So even if you're buying a car two owners after the recall was issued, you can still take it to the dealer and have the recall repair work completed.
Don't assume recall repairs have been made to a vehicle. Even if the recall is years old. For cars less than 5 years old, only about 80% are repaired. For vehicles older than that, the repair rate is less than 50%. Previous owners may have ignored notifications, weren't concerned by the particular recalled item, or been reluctant to take the car to the dealer.
Sellers Won't Tell You About Recalls
Private party sellers may be unaware of any recalls for the vehicle. Or they may have discounted its importance. Or they may think that it would be a negative to admit the vehicle has a recall. In fact, recalls are announced almost every week. Lots of vehicles have recalls. It's not uncommon. It is, however, risky to ignore them. You'll have to look up the recalls for a car you're considering on your own.
A dealer also may be reluctant to bring up recalls. Especially if it is a dealer which is not franchised with the manufacturer of the vehicle, for example, a used Ford for sale at a Dodge dealership or independent dealership. This is because they wouldn't be reimbursed for the repair. Even franchised dealers may take the approach that if you'll buy the vehicle without requesting the repair, that's less expense they've put into the sale.
It's your responsibility to know about recalls on your vehicle. Finding recalls is free. Fixing recalls is free. It's important enough that the Federal government has passed laws to make sure you're covered. There's no reason not to get them fixed.