PITTSBURGH - Millions of potentially dangerous cars are on the road right now. The manufacturers have recalled them, but the problems haven't been fixed. Consumer Investigator Robin Taylor discovered it's a huge problem here in Pennsylvania.
Last year, 81,000 vehicles with open recalls were listed for sale in Pennsylvania, and thousands more were being driven with the new owner often unaware there’s a problem until something goes wrong.
Target 11 found a video posted on YouTube that shows a Toyota Highlander crashing into a garage after the driver says the accelerator stuck.
Toyota has recalled more than 14 million vehicles worldwide over sticky accelerators and has settled more than a billion dollars in lawsuits.
But Larry Gamache, of CARFAX, told Target 11 that millions of vehicles with potentially dangerous problems remain on the road.
"Unexplained acceleration, failure of brake systems, electrical systems, all these things, when you're driving at 65 to 70 miles an hour, could seriously impact the ability of that vehicle to perform properly, and put you, your passengers and other people on the highway at risk," said Gamache.
That's why Glen Curry, of Aliquippa, ran a CARFAX report before he bought a used Pontiac Vibe, and he's glad he did because there were a couple open recalls.
"The PCM, the power train control module, could cause the car to stall unexpectedly or other issues with the car and I guess there was the potential there for it to be dangerous," said Curry.
The fix was free. All he had to do was take it to a Pontiac dealer, but many recalled cars exchange hands without anyone knowing a recall exists.
"Last year, we saw more than 2.1 million vehicles listed online for sale with open recalls," said Gamache.
For Curry, paying $40 for the CARFAX report was well worth it because he now knows nothing critical is wrong.
"Now I can have more faith in the car. Actually the car was purchased for my son, who will be starting to drive soon, and I wanted to make sure it was safe for him, that it wasn't going to be a danger," said Curry.
Fortunately, finding open recalls and getting them fixed is easy. All you need is the vehicle identification number, and then a dealer can run the search. If there is an open recall, the manufacturer will fix it for free.