How To Tell If Yours Is One Of Them


By Mark Ackerman and Brian Maass

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Roughly one in every five vehicles on Colorado roads have an active safety recall that has not been fixed.

To bring awareness to the issue, CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass spent a day at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Lakewood, checking cars and letting motorists know if their cars have active recalls.

(credit: CBS)

“Either people don’t know their car has a recall on it or they haven’t prioritized getting it fixed,” said Chris Basso of Carfax who teamed up with Maass on this project.

(credit: CBS)

Using the free “MyCarfax” app, which works by inputting license plate numbers, the pair found an airbag recall on Josie Jimenez’s car.

(credit: CBS)

“You airbag could go off unexpectedly,” Basso told Jimenez who said she bought the car used at an auction and had no clue it was under recall.

For the majority of people, Maass and Basso delivered good news that there were no open recalls.

(credit: CBS)

But, that wasn’t the case for Natalie Coleman, when Maass informed her she had two open recalls on her 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee which she drives with her infant daughter in the backseat.

“It’s a Jeep, we thought it was a safe vehicle… that’s why we bought it,” she said.

(credit: CBS)

One of the recalls on Coleman’s Jeep was for an ignition switch issue that can cause cars to lose power. A second open recall was for a software problem.

(credit: CBS)

In Indianapolis, a car with a similar software issue rolled into a pond in March with a 3-year-old inside. The child’s father, Anthony Burgess, drowned while saving his daughter.

(credit: CBS)

The family is now suing General Motors over the condition of the car, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“Because we have a little one and that’s kind of scary for sure,” Coleman said she planned to take her car into the dealership to get it fixed as soon as possible.

(credit: CBS)

According to Carfax, mini-vans and pick-up trucks are most likely to have recalls because their owners are parents and workers who often don’t prioritize taking a car out of service to get fixed.

(credit: CBS)

Drivers can do the same kind of check with the Federal Government’s website www.safercar.gov  by inputting the VIN.

Remember, if there are active recalls on your car the manufacturer is obligated to have its local dealers fix it free of charge.

Mark Ackerman is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. Follow him on Twitter @ackermanmark

CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass has been with the station more than 30 years uncovering waste, fraud and corruption. Follow him on Twitter @Briancbs4.

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