Report: 1 out of 5 vehicles (yes, 20 percent!) has an ‘Open Recall’

New recall numbers from CARFAX demonstrate growing safety risk on roads.

Grunge Green Recall Round Rubber Seal Stamp On White Background Vector Id957380266CENTREVILLE, Va., Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The number of vehicles on the road with open safety recalls is rising, after two consecutive years of declines, according to CARFAX data.

Annual CARFAX recall data shows there are more than 55.7 million recalled vehicles on the road today that haven’t been repaired. That’s up 5% from 52.7 million in 2019. In 2020, pickup trucks and cars are the vehicles most likely to have unfixed recalls.

“We know open recalls are a critical issue impacting the safety of everyone on the road,” said Faisal Hasan, General Manager of Data at CARFAX. “We’ve made great strides in recent years working with the vehicle manufacturers to try to help reduce the number of open recalls, but there’s still a long road ahead. The shared goal continues to be raising awareness about open recalls, so we can get more vehicles remedied and back on the road safely.”

Several Southern states continue to top the list with the highest recall percentages including Texas (26.8%), Mississippi (26.1%) and Louisiana (25.7%).

Here are the top 10 states with the highest number of recalled vehicles:

  1. California – 6.8 million
  2. Texas – 5.9 million
  3. Florida – 3.5 million
  4. Pennsylvania – 2.3 million
  5. New York – 2.2 million
  6. Ohio – 1.9 million
  7. Georgia – 1.8 million
  8. Illinois – 1.8 million
  9. North Carolina – 1.8 million
  10. Michigan – 1.5 million

CARFAX continues to work diligently with the vehicle manufacturers to raise awareness around recalls. Open recalls reached their peak in 2017 at 63 million vehicles. The decrease since then can be attributed to increased use of free recall monitoring services like CARFAX Car Care and an effort by Departments of Motor Vehicles across the country to provide free supplemental recall notifications to consumers, including during the registration and inspection process.

There are currently more than 17 million VINs registered in CARFAX Car Care. This free service continuously monitors multiple vehicles for open recalls after entering a license plate or VIN. Making this information readily available for drivers can help boost closure rates of open recalls.

“I was getting ready to sell my car,” said Dan Moreno, of San Francisco, CA. “To my surprise, there was one outstanding recall that CARFAX flagged. I’m glad I did it! I had the dealer fix it right away. Now I can sell my car with all the confidence that it’s solid!”

Taking any vehicle off the road to be fixed can be an inconvenience. However, recall repairs are often completed in only an hour or two, and most take less than a day. Owners can check whether their vehicle has an open recall for free at CARFAX or view an interactive state map by visiting:


CARFAX, part of IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO), helps millions of people every day confidently shop, buy, service and sell used cars with innovative solutions powered by CARFAX vehicle history information. The expert in vehicle history since 1984, CARFAX provides exclusive services like CARFAX Used Car Listings, CARFAX Car Care, CARFAX History-Based Value and the flagship CARFAX® Vehicle History Report™ to consumers and the automotive industry. CARFAX owns the world’s largest vehicle history database and is nationally recognized as a top workplace by The Washington Post and Shop, Buy, Service, Sell – Show me the CARFAX™. Based in London, IHS Markit is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.