More than 2.5 million U.S. vehicles are under "do not drive" or "park outside" safety recalls that remain unrepaired despite the danger they present, vehicle history specialist Carfax said Wednesday.
This is the first time Carfax has specifically analyzed urgent recalls — part of their efforts to address the 20 to 25 percent of all recalls that typically go unrepaired, Patrick Olsen, editor in chief for Carfax, told Automotive News.
"Do not drive" notifications advise owners to cease operating their vehicle because a safety issue has led to an increased risk of accidents or physical harm, and "park outside" recalls occur when a vehicle is at risk for fire.
Takata airbags are the most famous contributor to "do not drive" recalls, Olsen said. The largest automotive recall in history, 67 million of these airbags have been recalled due to a potentially lethal defect.
The urgent recalls encompass about 200 different models from a variety of brands and model years. A "park outside" order was issued Tuesday by Stellantis for 219,000 Jeep Cherokee SUVs from the 2014 to 2016 model years.
"Any car at any point can get a recall," Olsen said.
Six states each have more than 100,000 of these vehicles still in use on their roads, Carfax reported. California leads at 245,000, followed by Texas, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Vehicle owners are automatically notified of recalls through first-class mail, but Olsen said mail scams and larger declines in postal communication have decreased the efficacy of this method. He encouraged vehicle owners to sign up for digital services through CarFax to be immediately notified.
For those concerned about going without their vehicle while it undergoes repairs, Olsen suggested they reach out to dealers or automakers to see if a short-term loaner vehicle can be provided.
Carfax , a unit of S&P Global Mobility, has also partnered with the Alliance for Automotive Innovation to expand use of the Vehicle Recall Search Service, which offers free recall checks in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maryland, New York State, Ohio, and Texas.