What you need to remember is that this is something the car industry could have done years before. But the government had to do it because the basic busines model of the used car industry is to sell crap cars for much more than they are worth to unsuspecting buyers fooled by promises of "125 point inspections" and other nonsense.
Remember! If you can't afford to have your own independent mechanic do a thorough top-to-bottom pre-purchase inspection on a car you're thinking of buying, you can't afford the car anyway so get the hell away from it before it sinks you financially. Really. If the $100-$150 for a rigorous, independent inspection is too much for you to pay, then how are you going to possibly pay for all the problems that arise when your "as is" piece of junk suddenly demonstrates its true condition to you, soon after purchase?
NHTSA recall check site