Carfax has estimated that some 57 million vehicles on U.S. roads have open recalls, representing more than one out of every five.
Consumer tools to find recalls have improved over the years past the dealership mailer. Safercar.gov is one tool, on which car owners search by their VIN to determine whether they have an open recall. But that’s still not having a complete reach, meaning that potentially serious repairs are going undone.
“There’s definitely a problem, and that’s why we have millions and millions of recalls out there that are not being addressed,” says Fabio Gratton, co-founder of the Carma Project.
The Carma Project is an organization that creates tools for people to more readily check for recall notices. It has previously developed a mobile app for people to search. Now through a new partnership with the National Safety Council, it’s using a proprietary license plate reader to identify and flag recalls on the road.