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Why doesn't Consumer Reports factor recalls into car Ratings?

Why doesn’t Consumer Reports factor recalls into car Ratings?

Consumer Reports often gives glowing Ratings to used cars from manufacturers with high recall numbers. Shouldn’t recall statistics be factored in?—David Ramsay, Toronto

We don’t think recalls should be factored in. Though it would be great if cars could be designed without safety problems ever surfacing, we strongly encourage manufacturers to recall cars if need be.

There’s also a big difference in how an owner is affected by a reliability problem or a recall. Reliability problems require an unscheduled trip for repair or at worst, a tow truck. We encourage manufacturers to recall cars when safety issues are uncovered. A recall requires one planned trip to the dealer with no expense to the owner.

To find recalls for a used car you are considering purchasing, check out the latest car recalls, and to make sure you avoid a lemon, consult our used car buying guide.   

—Consumer Reports

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