Why millions of cars could put you at risk on the road

Why millions of cars could put you at risk on the road

Every few seconds you pass a vehicle on the road with a potentially dangerous defect.

Whether they don't know or just don't care, millions of drivers have not responded to recall notices.

A few days before Christmas, Ginger Provencher was making breakfast when her home nearly went up in flames.

"We received a frantic knock at our door," said Ginger Provencher. "There was smoke coming out of my vehicle. I would say it was probably, maybe two to three feet at most, from the house."

Her 2016 Nissan Murano spontaneously ignited.

"I called 911 and the car, basically, was engulfed in flames at that point," she explained.

Her vehicle was part of a recall. The anti-lock braking system could leak fluid and caused the fire.

"Sixty-three million vehicles have an open recall, which is obviously a staggering number and starting to get away from us," said Christopher Miller.

Miller runs Recall Masters, a company that helps notify consumers when there's a recall on their vehicle.

"Do you think there's any road in America where a driver is safe from being exposed to a vehicle that has an open recall?" Chris was asked.

"All of the major cities in America are plagued with huge numbers - hundreds and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of vehicles with open recalls on them - so one in four vehicles you're driving by has a recall of some kind on it," he answered.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires manufacturers to recall vehicles that have safety-related defects or do not meet federal safety standards.

Those recalls include everything from problems with fuel systems and accelerators, to wiring systems, airbags, and brakes.

According to NHTSA, 100 percent of vehicle recalls in America are safety-related.

Here's what we found - there are nearly 11 million vehicles on the road under recall in the western U.S., and more than four million in the mountain region.

There are more than 23 million dangerous vehicles on the streets and highways of the central U.S. and more than 24 million in the east.

A dangerous total of more than 63 million vehicles.

"The thing you really need to understand about open recalls is that you're not just putting yourself at risk. You're also putting other drivers on the road at risk," Miller said.

Don't assume service centers have your back.

"We find nearly 50 percent of vehicles going through the service lanes in authorized dealerships are not being checked," Chris said.

Even when they are, you still may not be in the clear.

It's easy to find out if there's a recall on your vehicle, and companies like Carfax even send free notification to you about your car.

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