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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 late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to manage their finances through providing clear, well-researched information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into bite-sized pieces. The Bankrate promise

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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 decades. We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools required to be successful throughout their financial journey. Bankrate follows a strict policy, which means you can be confident that our content is honest and precise. Our award-winning editors and reporters provide honest and trustworthy content that will help you make the right financial decisions. The content created by our editorial team is factual, accurate, and not influenced by our advertisers. We’re open about how we are able to bring quality content, competitive rates and valuable tools to our customers by explaining how we make money. is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated for the placement of sponsored products and, services, or by you clicking on specific links on our site. Therefore, this compensation may affect the way, location and when products appear within listing categories, except where prohibited by law. This is the case for our mortgage home equity, mortgage and other products for home loans. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is available in your area or at your personal credit score may also influence how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide an array of offers, Bankrate does not include specific information on every financial or credit product or service. If you’re considering buying a used vehicle it is essential to know if there’s an open recall of the car you’re considering purchasing and, if there is, whether it has been fixed. Used car recalls are typically caused by a malfunction or potential problem that is related to safety concerns. Recalls that are not addressed could cause a car accident or fire that could injure the passengers or leading to a fall . Car dealers are only required to perform repairs to new vehicles. In the majority of states, dealers aren’t required to repair old vehicles or inform consumers of recalls. They might not know there’s a recall. You are the one responsible for researching the car’s history. How to find out whether a car you are considering purchasing is subject to a recall To find out whether a vehicle has been subject to recalls or not, you can look up the . The database can be searched using the car’s VIN, which is located on a car’s windshield lower left or make, model and year in the event that you don’t have the VIN. The NHTSA database provides information about not repaired vehicles that were affected within the past 15 years of calendar. The database also contains recalls issued by major automakers, motorcycle manufacturers as well as some medium and heavy-duty truck makers. While it’s an excellent source however, the NHTSA database is not able to give information on vehicles that have been repaired as a result of an safety recall. Also, it doesn’t contain any information on vehicles from other countries. Examine defects if you don’t find any recalls, you can also examine the NHTSA’s monthly investigative reports, which contain details about ongoing defect investigations. Recalls usually begin as an investigation. You may find that the car you’re looking to purchase is under investigation. If so, keep on top of the developments to be aware of any recalls or is issued. What should you do if the used car you want is a part of a recall If your desired used car is part of recall, don’t give up on it. Repairs shouldn’t cost the seller or the buyer anything since the manufacturer covers recall fixes. Get the vehicle’s VIN If you don’t have it If you do find a recall for the vehicle’s model, make and year, you can get the car’s VIN at the time of purchase from the vendor. You can enter it into the section for recalls on the manufacturer’s website. With the VIN, you can determine if the car is subject to recall. Some manufacturer websites also note whether the car has been fixed. Repair the car Manufacturers must repair cars that are subject to a safety recall free of charge. So while independent dealers are not required to with an open recall in accordance with Federal law, this shouldn’t not cost anything to repair the car. Recall laws differ by state, so dealerships in your region may legally be required to conduct repairs prior to selling you a car. You could also ask the seller to fix the vehicle before you buy it. Ask the owner for receipts. If the vehicle you are buying has been repaired Ask the owner for documentation and review it thoroughly. Only dealers who are authorized to carry that car brand are authorized to carry out recall repairs. However, independent mechanics can do some recall repairs at the owner’s expense. If a dealer failed to complete repairs, you might want to have a dealer confirm that the work was completed in a professional and thorough manner. The most important thing to consider before purchasing a used car, research whether the car has been part of any safety recalls and if the required repairs were made. The NHTSA is usually the most reliable source to find out whether a recall affected the vehicle you’d like to purchase. To ensure your safety after a recall you’ve signed up, think about signing up for recall alerts issued through the NHTSA. You can choose to receive these alerts by email or download the NHTSA’s SaferCar app on your phone 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 editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are dedicated to helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances through providing concise, well-studied information that breaks down complicated topics into bite-sized pieces.

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