Cars buyers are being urged to make sure their next purchase isnâ€™t a potential deathtrap after figures revealed that almost ten per cent of all cars have safety issues that havenâ€™t been fixed.
Every year manufacturers issue hundreds of safety recalls but not all owners have the work done. Official figures suggest that as many as one in 13 cars has an outstanding safety recall, leaving the drivers at risk of prosecution for driving an unsafe vehicle and occupants at risk of serious injury.
Recalls cover a wide range of issues, including faulty airbags, fuel leaks, faulty brakes and wrongly fitted steering components. If unaddressed they can lead to dangerous and potentially fatal failures in vehicles.
By law motor dealers must address safety recalls free of charge before selling a car or face prosecution but there are no such rules for private sellers.
To help buyers, or current owners, check the recall status of a specific car, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has now launched an online tool.
Using just the carâ€™s registration number owners and potential buyers can find out if any safety recalls havenâ€™t been performed as well as checking the MOT status of the car.
Peace of mind
Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA chief executive, said: â€œWhether youâ€™re buying a car from a dealership, through an auction or from a private seller you want to be confident that the vehicle youâ€™re buying is safe to drive.
â€œThis new service allows you to check if a specific car has any outstanding vehicle safety recalls, making it potentially dangerous, simply by entering its registration number.â€
More than eight million used cars were sold in the UK in 2016 according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The new services uses real-time data from the SMMT. Its chief executive, Mike Hawes, commented: â€œCar makers in the UK have a world-leading record for successful safety recalls and are constantly striving to make it even better.
â€œThis new service makes it easy for drivers and potential buyers to check for outstanding recall alerts they or previous owners may have missed, giving them peace of mind their car is safe and reliable.â€