3OYS: Your license plate will reveal if your car is targeted for a recall

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Cars, trucks and mini-vans. No matter what you drive, there's no doubt you depend on your vehicle to get you around the Valley. But is the car you’re driving dangerous?

Chris Basso works with Carfax, the company many consumers use to check out vehicle history.

"Our data shows that in Arizona, more than a million cars on the road have an unfixed safety recall,” Basso told 3 On Your Side reporter Gary Harper. “Something that could cause a fire, crash, or maybe an exploding airbag."

But Carfax has a new, free app called myCARFAX, found in the App Store and at www.mycarfax.com. It allows you to easily discover if you have any unfixed recalls. All you have to do is punch in your license plate number.

"Recalls are happening fast and furious,” Basso said. “And you can get a recall on your car at any time.  This app does the work for you and tells you when that recall is issued."

3 On Your Side decided to put the app to the test. Gary Harper and Basso walked through a central Phoenix parking lot and asked drivers if they could run their license plate to check for recalls. 

One driver told them he thought he might have one. But, after running his plate number through the app, he discovered he had four recalls, including his fuel pump and power steering.

“So, you have a power steering problem and a fuel problem,” Harper told him.

"You know, it's funny because when I was taking my kid to school today, the steering was crunchy," the driver responded.

"That could be the recall," Harper said.

Armed with the information, the driver is now able to get his problems fixed for free by taking his car to a Chevy dealership.

Another Toyota driver allowed 3 On Your Side to enter his license plate number.

“Knowing what you know now, what do you think about this?” Harper asked.

"Well, it's good because some people have vehicles, like I said earlier about the airbag situation, it's a problem that needs to be taken care of," the driver said.

And as some drivers discovered, they had no recalls that needed attention.

“No open recalls!” Harper said.

"Wow,” the driver responded.

“So, you're safe,” Harper said. “Make you feel a little safer?”

“Yep,” the driver said.

Even if a vehicle has no open recalls, the app will remember the owner's plate number and car and automatically send a warning if a recall is ever issued.

For more information on the app, go to the company's website: