Choose the Right Cars for Your Inventory

Manufacturer recalls are a common occurrence, with hundreds of recalls issued every year affecting millions of cars. In fact, over 10 million cars were recalled in 2008 alone. But what is alarming about recalls is how many go unfixed by their owners - roughly a third or more of all recalled units. Thousands of these cars are bought and sold every day.

Vehicles with open recalls are moving daily through auto auctions and being taken in on trade. It's up to us as retailers to take the proper steps and identify any potential issues. Many of us are already keeping a sharp eye out for evidence of issues like flood damage, odometer rollbacks or previous accidents - but what about open recalls?

At Auction, At Trade-In: Check with Carfax for Open Recalls

One way to tell if a car has an open recall is to check the vehicle history. Most manufacturers report their open recall information to Carfax. When you're evaluating a vehicle or looking at the auction run list, consider getting a Carfax Vehicle History Report to help you pinpoint which vehicles have open recalls before taking them into inventory.

"We realize that an issue like open recalls is on our customers' minds right now. Especially at auction, it's up to us as buyers to utilize the tools available that help us better evaluate each unit," said David Metter, Chief Marketing Officer, MileOne / Atlantic Automotive. "Carfax Reports make it easy for us to recognize cars with unfixed open recalls and other outstanding issues. In fact, the first thought our guys have when considering any used car for our inventory is 'Does it have a clean Carfax?'. We're putting the best cars on our lot and our customers' minds at ease that they're making a sound buying decision."

Build Confidence with Your Customers

Checking the vehicle history with Carfax for every unit you put on your lot helps you make better buying decisions and builds confidence with customers. It can be to your advantage to let your customers know up-front about an open recall and help them get it fixed.

Auto manufacturers understand the importance of informing their customers about a recall. Customer safety and the company's reputation are at stake. With so many of these vehicles changing hands before they're fixed, most manufacturers choose to work directly with Carfax to reach the greatest number of buyers and sellers.

"Subaru of America is committed to providing customers with the safest vehicles possible and recognizes that tools such as those provided by Carfax help ensure that customers are well informed about their vehicles," said Michael McHale, Director of Corporate Communications at Subaru of America, Inc.

Maintaining an open dialogue with customers is vital for manufacturers to alleviate any concerns about recalls. Dan Irvin, General Manager of Corporate Communications & Public Relations at Mitsubishi N.A. knows that one of the simplest ways to connect with millions of used car buyers and sellers is through Carfax.

"Mitsubishi Motors is relentless in our commitment to quality and safety," says Dan. "An element of ensuring safe vehicles is making certain that if a vehicle is recalled, the required inspection and service, if necessary, are performed. In this spirit, Mitsubishi has been a longtime partner with Carfax in providing auctions, dealers, current and prospective customers with free-of-charge information regarding any open recalls on our vehicles."

Dealers can save time and choose the right cars by checking for open recalls through Carfax prior to acquisition. Servicing open recalls is also an additional source of revenue.

"Unrepaired open recalls are an important factor in vehicle evaluations," said Larry Gamache, Carfax Communications Director. "Estimates are that nearly a third of all recalled vehicles aren't fixed by their owners. Carfax is working with leading manufacturers and consumer advocates to alert people to open recalls and make sure more of these are fixed."

Used car shoppers are looking to dealers to make them aware of any issues like open recalls. Be informed about the cars you're retailing before they even reach your lot - Carfax can help. To become a Carfax subscriber, AIADA members can visit or call 800-444-0145.