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CARFAX touts Car Care opt-in service letting more owners know about recalls

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CARFAX reports that its data shows more than 50 million vehicles on U.S. roads today are being driven with a known issue that should be repaired.

“While the overall number of vehicles with an open recall is down almost 6% from 2021, tens of millions of drivers remain still at risk, even though repairs will be made at no charge to the owners,” CARFAX said in a news release.

This year, sedans and SUVs are most likely to have unfixed recalls, according to CARFAX. And Southern states continue to have the highest open-recall percentages including Mississippi at 24% and Texas and Louisiana, both at 23%.

Nationwide, CARFAX says drivers have registered more than 37 million VINs in CARFAX Car Care. The free service “continuously monitors vehicles for open recalls.” CARFAX Public Relations Director Emilie Voss told Repairer Driven News that Car Care is “a service program car owners can opt into to help them track maintenance needs, including automotive recall alerts,” but didn’t say why loss history data the company collects isn’t a service that can be opted in or out of. For example, it’s commonplace for damage history notifications to be found on CARFAX without permission from collision repair shops or vehicle owners.

“Regarding damage history, more than 131,000 data sources across North America report information to CARFAX,” Voss said. “The details associated with a single event on a CARFAX report may have been reported to CARFAX from several sources, both public and private.”

She then directed RDN to for more information about data sources. The site states data is received “from more than 131,000 different sources including every U.S. and Canadian provincial motor vehicle agency plus many police and fire departments, collision repair facilities, auto auctions, and more.” Insurance companies, auto recyclers, car dealerships, and rental companies are just a handful of other data sources included in a long list on the company’s site.

“CARFAX recognizes the importance of accurate information, and therefore, the Help Center on provides an easy, quick way to send CARFAX requests for data verifications and corrections,” Voss added.

CARFAX gave a similar response to the Automotive Service Association last year when it said it doesn’t mine data directly from businesses and vehicle owners but instead relies on third-party sources for its information.

As a means of protecting customers’ personal identification information (PII), the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) Vehicle Data Access, Privacy & Security Committee has in place a set of “Golden Rules” for data privacy that were overwhelmingly established in 2020 as an official work product from the CIC body. CARFAX’s means of gathering data serves as a reminder for repair facilities to ask questions of their vendors to mitigate the unintended sharing of consumer data and to be aware that data pumps could exist on their computer systems.

CARFAX said in its June 7 news release that there has been “a growing effort” from U.S. motor vehicle departments to partner with them and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation “to provide free supplemental recall notifications to consumers, including during a consumer’s registration, renewal, or inspection processes.”

It’s also a good idea for collision repair shops, as stewards of safe vehicles for customers, to be aware of vehicle recalls to make sure owners know about them.

“We are heading in the right direction when it comes to the number of open recalls on the road, but the numbers remain incredibly high,” said Faisal Hasan, General Manager of Data at CARFAX, in the release. “We still have a long way to go but free recall monitoring services, such as CARFAX Car Care, are making a difference.”


Featured image credit: PRNewsFoto/CARFAX

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