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Avoiding recalled cars when buying used

PHOENIX — Auto recalls have been in the headlines recently and consumers looking to buy used cars online might be concerned whether they’re looking at a car possibly involved in an open or unfixed recall.

GM recently issued a massive recall due to faulty ignition switches in certain vehicles and Toyota settled with the Justice Department this week for more than one billion dollars from a 2009 recall.

Travis Mock, automotive supervisor for Triple-A Arizona, said there are resources available for people to make sure a vehicle is fine before buying it.

“If you have a trusted automotive shop that you deal with, they can actually, actively look up recalls and all technical service bulletins,” he said.

If a consumer does not have a trusted shop, Mock said they can also go to By simply typing in a make and model of a vehicle, they can see if there are any recalls associated with the car.

That information is also accessible via an application for smartphones.

“Both in the Android store and the Apple store, there’s also an application called SaferCar,” he said. “From your cell phone, type in that kind of information and it’ll tell you if there are any open (or) active recalls.”

Mock added that dealerships can provide recall information if provided with a vehicle identification number and recommends consumers have vehicles inspected before buying.