You don't have to wait until a car company notifies you of a problem with your vehicle to be informed about auto-related recalls. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a tool on its website that helps you find out information about current and past recalls. The online tool can pinpoint whether a car you own or want to buy was repaired during a recall during the past 15 years.
California maintenance and service records are often missing from used vehicles. You easily could make a purchase, without knowing whether an automobile design defect was ever corrected. Now, you don't have to guess.