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3 min 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 editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances by providing precise, well-researched and comprehensive information that breaks down complicated topics into bite-sized pieces. The Bankrate promise
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Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and in what order products are listed, except where prohibited by law. This is the case for our mortgage or home equity products, as well as other products for home loans. Other factors, such as our own website rules and whether or not a product is available within your region or within your own personal credit score could also affect how and where products appear on this website. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service. If you’re thinking about purchasing a car used, it is critical to determine if there is an open recall on the car you’re considering purchasing and, if so, whether it has been fixed. Recalls for used cars are usually issued because of a problem or potential issue related to safety concerns. Recalls that are not addressed could cause a car fire or collision, harming the occupants or causing a jump in . Car dealers must only complete repairs on brand new vehicles. In most states, dealers aren’t required to repair used vehicles or notify buyers of recalls. They might not even be aware of a recall. You are the one responsible for researching the history of your car. How to find out if a used car is a subject of a recall To find out whether a vehicle is involved in a recall or not, you can look up the . This database is searchable with the VIN number, which can be found on a car’s windshield lower left, or the make, model and year in the absence of the VIN. The NHTSA database contains information on not repaired vehicles that were affected the past 15 years of calendar. The database includes recalls from major manufacturers of motorcycles, automakers as well as some heavy and medium-duty truck manufacturers. Although it’s a useful resource but the NHTSA database doesn’t provide information on vehicles that have been repaired in response to the safety recall. It also does not have any data on international vehicles. Examine defects if you don’t find any recalls, you can also examine the NHTSA’s monthly investigative reports, which provide details on ongoing defects investigations. Recalls usually begin by conducting an investigation. You may find that the car you’re looking to purchase is being investigated. If so, keep up-to-date with the latest developments to be aware if a car recall is issued. What do you do if a used car you’re interested in is subject to recalls If you want to purchase a used car is part of recall do not give up on it. Repairs won’t cost the buyer or seller any money since the manufacturer covers recall fixes. Find the car’s VIN If you don’t have it If you do notice a recall on the vehicle’s model, make and year of manufacture, obtain the vehicle’s VIN from the seller. You can enter it into the recall section on the site of the manufacturer. With the VIN, you can determine whether the vehicle is part of the recall. Some manufacturer websites also note if the car has been repaired. Repair the car Manufacturers are required to fix vehicles that have been subject to safety recalls at no cost. Therefore, even though independent dealers aren’t obliged to conduct an open recall under Federal law, this should cost you nothing to repair the vehicle. Recall laws differ 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 repair the car before you purchase it. Request receipts from the seller. If the vehicle you are buying has already been repaired, ask the owner to provide documentation and read the repair thoroughly. Only dealers that carry the brand of car are authorized to carry out recall repairs. Independent mechanics are able to do some recall repairs at the owner’s expense. If the dealer didn’t complete the repairs, you might want to have a dealer check that the work was carried out correctly and thoroughly. The bottom line Before purchasing a second-hand car, check if the vehicle has been involved in any safety recalls and if the required repairs were made. The NHTSA is often the best place to determine whether a recall affected the vehicle you’d like to purchase. To protect yourself after , consider signing up for recall alerts issued through the NHTSA. You can sign up to receive these alerts via email, or use the NHTSA’s SaferCar application for your smartphone to receive recall alerts. Related Articles: SHARE:
The author, 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 confidence to take control of their finances through providing concise, well-studied details that break down complicated topics into bite-sized pieces.
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