More than 1m unsafe cars on the road as owners ignore recalls

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More than one million unsafe vehicles are still on the roads of Britain after their owners ignored recalls, according to new research.

An investigation by motoring magazine Auto Express found that less than half of the top 10 UK vehicle recalls since 2012 had been completed.

Although more than 2.2 million vehicles were involved in these recalls, the consumer publication found that just 47.7 per cent of the vehicles were actually taken to dealers for repairs.

The largest of the recalls included in the study was the Takata airbag scandal, which has escalated since first coming to light four years ago and involved multiple car manufacturers such as BMW, Honda and Toyota. According to Auto Express, just 1.5 per cent of the BMWs affected have been fixed, while Toyota has only repaired a quarter of the cars affected.

A Toyota spokesman told Auto Express that the recall rate was low because the company was managing its supply of spare parts.

"This is very much an ongoing recall due to the numbers of vehicles and manufacturers involved. Due to volumes we have to manage it to ensure sufficient parts supply," he said.

The Vauxhall Zafira B fire recall, which was reported in many national media outlets, also featured in the study, although 69.7 per cent of the vehicles affected had been fixed.

Of the 10 biggest recalls in the past five years, the best repair rate was found to be the Honda Jazz recall, which has seen 78.3 per cent of the affected cars fixed.

Gareth Llewellyn, chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), told Auto Express: "DVSA's first priority is to protect you from unsafe drivers and vehicles. We have made it clear to manufacturers that they should swiftly rectify problems and meet their obligations under the code of practice to protect consumers.

"DVSA will take the necessary action against any manufacturers who fail to comply with their obligations. We have recently carried out an audit of Vauxhall's headquarters. We are reviewing the findings and will take further action if necessary."