App makes it easy to see if your vehicle has been recalled


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Millions of drivers in North Carolina have vehicles with active recalls and many are unaware that their car or truck has a problem.

Carfax says one in five cars in this area are under recall for something.

In North Carolina, the numbers amount to close to 2 million vehicles.

There are so many recalls happening that sometimes it’s hard to keep up with them, but a free app provided by Carfax can be used to determine which vehicles have recalls.

CBS North Carolina decided to out the app to the test and used it to help alert several drivers to major safety issues with their vehicles.

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One of the biggest recalls in history has involved Takata airbags.

Recently, that airbag recall was expanded again, adding to the cars on the road that have safety issues.

Using the Carfax app, CBS North Carolina found a driver who didn’t know his recently purchased used car had an airbag recall.

It turns out Greg Gentry’s BMW had one of the Takata airbags that might blast out deadly shrapnel if it’s deployed.

The app showed that recall was issued in 2014, but Gentry just bought his car a few months ago and was unaware of the recall.

“I’m shocked because with the airbag you never know,” Gentry said.

The app works by running your license plate number through multiple data bases.

“You plug in your license plate it’ll tell you about any recalls that exist for your vehicle right now and it will monitor for any recall issues in the future, explained Carfax’s Chis Basso.

And the app also has an alternate way of looking up information.

If you’re looking to buy a used car which has no license plate, you just plug in the vehicle identification number instead.

“It puts information right at your fingertips so you can do the most important thing—get it to a dealer to be fixed,” says Basso.

CBS North Carolina tried the app at Crabtree Valley Mall which allowed us free run if it’s parking lot.

Scores of cars were found with open recalls.

Sheri Roberson had two serious safety recalls on her Malibu that she was unaware of until we showed her.

One recall was for a brake lamp malfunction which could mean her brake lights could stop working. That could cause a potential crash if they failed and a driver behind her didn’t realize she was stopping.

The second for her automobile was for the safety belt anchor. The recall information indicated the seat belt tensioner cable could actually sever, causing the belt to fail in an accident.

Roberson says she never knew about the recalls, and said she was very concerned. “I’m defiantly going to look into that,” she said.

For the drivers encountered, what they learned was powerful safety information.

“I didn’t know about this at all,” said Gentry. “I thank God he put you in my path because I didn’t know this information.

The app will not only notify you of recalls, but it’ll also alert you that you need to do routine maintenance like an oil changes or tire rotations.

It’ll even tell you when your registration is about to expire.

You can find the free app here.

Email CBS North Carolina’s Steve Sbraccia if you have a consumer issue.

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