CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Local law enforcement vehicles are in service with active recalls, putting you and your family at risk.
Basic recall information is always available, free of charge, on the National Highway Safety Administration website. What's the excuse for local law enforcement not knowing their vehicles have been recalled?
We found this unmarked law enforcement vehicle sitting right outside Cleveland City Hall with a potentially dangerous recall. A defective ignition switch on the Dodge Charger that could stall the car and turn off the air bags. A similar problem with General Motor vehicles killed more than 120 people.
The same vehicle also has bad airbag inflators on both the driver and passenger sides, which have been linked to 11 deaths in the U.S. A ruptured airbag could send metal shrapnel shooting through the car. That's what happened to Sara Baker, Her airbag exploded and sliced off half of her ear.
A Cuyahoga County Sheriff's vehicle spotted in downtown Cleveland also has an active recall for a faulty airbag inflator.
In Cleveland Heights, we found four city vehicles with unfixed recalls ranging from airbags that may not deploy to bad headlights. Problems that Vehicle Maintenance Supervisor Doug Ditto said are likely to remain unfixed for a while until the automakers come up with a solution.
"They send us these notices and they're saying they don't have the parts to repair them, but they don't give us any kind of time table on that, on like when are they going to get the parts. If it's something important like that, then the car's going to be down. It should not be in service" said Ditto.
In University Heights, two city-owned Ford Escapes with three recalls between the two of them for side doors that could fly open while driving and a problem that could short circuit the airbags and side curtains, possibly making them ineffective in a crash.
We tried to alert University Heights City Service Director Jeff Pokorny to the dangerous defects that do have fixes available, but he didn't want to hear it.
"Look, I've had enough with the camera, OK?" Pokorny said and grabbed our cameraman and slammed the door.
It's not just local government ignoring safety recalls. The General Services Administration is auctioning off recalled vehicles - to the public. We checked and found several cars currently for sale by the government, some with potentially dangerous defects and no warning to buyers.
That's why you should always do your due diligence and check for recalls before you buy.
To check for unfixed recalls on your own vehicle, you can use the free MyCarfax app -- search on iTunes Store or Google Play.for it -- or you can use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website.