In March 2014 alone, 1,479,775 GM vehicles were recalled in three separate recalls, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [1].

There were 13 other auto, motorcycle, and truck recalls in March 2014 for brands including Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet, Ford, BMW, Fiat, and Buick. Many consumers may simply be too busy to pay attention to the wide variety of auto recalls, unless a tragic accident puts center stage on a product, part or brand recall.

If you're in the market for a new vehicle, what does the increase in auto recalls mean for you?

New Car Recalls

New car recalls for 2014 include the following, per MotorTrend:

2014 Chevrolet Sonic: A total of 1558 units affected. Recalled for gasoline storage tank mounting.

2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid: A total of 9795 units affected. Recalled for windshield wiper fluid wiring/switch system.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee: A total of 277,185 units affected. Four distinct recalls for exterior lighting, electronic stability control, electrical system alternator/generator/regulator, and hydraulic antilock service brakes.

2014 Chevrolet Camaro: A total of 18,941 units affected. Recalled for labeling problems.

2014 Land Rover Range Rover: A total of 3912 units affected. Recalled for air bag problems.

2013 Ram 2500: A total of 24,623 units affected. Three distinct recalls for exterior lighting headlights, turn signal problems, and engine cooling.

 

How This Affects Car Buyers

cars recallsDealers are prohibited by law from selling a new car with a known recall issue, as Fox Business notes. So, if a car is on the car lot and a recall comes out, dealers must address the recall before the car can legally be sold to consumers. This may seem like good news for car buyers, but the law does not say anything about dealers' responsibility to inform consumers of recalls on just-purchased cars. So if you bought a car and two weeks later, a recall came out, the dealer would not have to notify you that your new car now has a recall on it.

The best way to find recalls on your vehicle, Fox Business suggests, is by searching the database at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Consumers may not remember to do this on a regular basis and, as a result, can go on driving a potentially unsafe car for some time. Of course, when consumers bring the car in for a routine service, the technician may point out any known recalls and take care of them at that time. Or consumers with Android or iPhone smartphones can use a free NHTSA app, SaferCar, to receive automatic notifications of any safety issues or report safety complaints about their own vehicles.

Used Cars

Used cars provide an alternative to potentially unsafe new cars, because they have a greater known history. Buyers can research car liability, benefits and blue book values before purchasing through resources such as Kelley Blue Book. Before looking for a used car online, buyers can also review known recalls through the NHTSA as part of the vehicle research process. An informed consumer makes a safer car purchase. This helps give drivers more control over the vehicle condition, price, and overall value, and can go a long way toward ensuring driver safety today and tomorrow.

[1] http://www.nhtsa.gov/Vehicle+Safety/Recalls+&+Defects

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