More than 240,000 vehicles with dangerous recalls on Texas roads, study says
HOUSTON - 242,000 unsafe vehicles are still on Texas roads despite being recalled, according to data from CARFAX, which provides vehicle history reports.
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It's leaving people at risk of fires, serious injuries, and even death.
We're talking about the most serious of recalls, where you're instructed to park the vehicle away from your home because it could catch fire, or the recall says Do Not Drive until it's repaired.
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Chad and Elizabeth Nelson's home in Clear Lake, Minnesota went up in flames in December when their Kia Sorrento caught fire. Their twin sons were home alone when they heard a noise in the garage.
"They popped the door open and smoke started billowing out," said Elizabeth Nelson.
The Nelsons say they didn't know theirs was one of 71,000 Sorrentos recalled because faulty wiring could start a fire in the rear of the car.
"You can actually see that was the location where the flames started," said Chad Nelson.
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CARFAX data reveals 2.5 million vehicles are still on U.S. roads, despite Do Not Drive or Park Outside recalls, the most serious recalls from auto manufacturers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"More than 20 people have died because of exploding Takata airbags," said CARFAX's Patrick Olsen, speaking of one of the Do Not Drive recalls.
And 3100 vehicles with Park Outside recalls have caught fire, injuring 100 people, and killing one, according to NHTSA.
"The risk of fire is so high, that not only should you not park it in your garage, you shouldn’t park it next to your garage," said Olsen.
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The problem, believes Olsen, is that many car owners aren't receiving the notices that NHTSA requires are sent by mail.
"The average age of a car, new or used is 12.5 years. So that means we're on the second, third, fourth owner, and sometimes those owners are hard to track down," Olsen explained.
Or, he says, drivers ignore notices or don't have time to get the vehicles fixed.
"I work at a repair shop. I would have taken that trailer hitch off," said Elizabeth Olsen, had she known about her Sorrento's recall.
"This is, for lack of a better word, a dumb problem that could’ve ended so differently," she said.
You can find out about any recalls by entering your Vehicle Identification Number in the NHTSA or CARFAX websites. CARFAX also offers a link where you can find dealerships near you that will make the repair for free.
You can also sign up for recall alerts by entering your email address, year, make, and model of your vehicle on NHTSA's website.