In 2021, there were 1,093 safety recalls affecting more than 34 million vehicles and other automotive equipment in the United States – some of the highest recall numbers on record. To help keep drivers aware of recalls affecting their vehicles, the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) is joining the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s efforts that use the start and end of Daylight Savings Time as a reminder for vehicle owners to check their Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) for open safety recalls using NHTSA’s user-friendly VIN Look-Up Tool. This free web tool allows vehicle owners to check for open safety recalls on their vehicles or automotive equipment such as tires and car seats.
“Checking for recalls is easy and relatively quick. NHTSA has an app that you can use to search for recalls using your vehicle’s VIN. You can receive notifications of any recalls on your vehicle. We want everyone to know that every safety recall needs to be repaired – and the repairs are free,” said Bob Tipton, GHSP Director.
Checking Your VIN
Checking your VIN is simple: The 17-digit number is located on the lower portion of your car’s windshield on the driver’s side. It may also be on your car’s registration card, or on your insurance card. Enter this number into the search bar at NHTSA.gov/Recalls and, in seconds, you’ll know if your vehicle is subject to an open safety recall. If your vehicle is affected by a safety recall, contact your local dealer to schedule a recall repair as soon as possible. All recall repairs at your local dealership are free. This tool also provides details on any unrepaired recall in your vehicle for at least the past 15 calendar years. An urgent air bag recall is still ongoing, currently the largest vehicle recall in U.S. history. Check to see if your car is affected.
Staying Ahead of Recalls
Once you’ve checked your VIN for an open recall, sign up for Recall Alerts. If your vehicle is included in a future recall, you’ll receive an email letting you know. The VIN Look-Up Tool also provides details on unrepaired safety recalls from major automakers, motorcycle manufacturers, and some medium/heavy truck manufacturers. You can also search for open recalls on your car seats, tires, and other vehicle-related equipment. To help make life a little easier, download NHTSA’s updated SaferCar app to stay informed about your vehicle. Once in the app, enter your vehicle’s VIN, and NHTSA will send you an alert if a safety recall is issued on them.
Once you download the app, which is available for iOS and Android, you can add any vehicle or related equipment, like tires, trailers, and car seats. SaferCar notifies you of all related recalls, even directing you to local dealerships, so you can quickly make an appointment and get it fixed for free.
“When we change our clocks when Daylight Saving Time begins or ends, we check our smoke detectors to make sure they’re working properly,” continued Tipton. “This is a great time to check for recalls on your vehicles, too.”
Take Recalls Seriously
Although last year’s recalls affected millions of vehicles, tires, car seats, and other equipment, millions of recalled vehicles still go unrepaired every year. This puts drivers, passengers, and other road users at risk.
“Ignoring a recall notice or failing to check your VIN for recalls could end in disaster. Protect yourself and loved ones by checking today,” Tipton concluded.
If you think your vehicle may have a safety-related defect that isn’t part of a current recall, contact NHTSA online or by calling the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236. Sometimes just one complaint is enough to trigger a safety recall.
For more information on NHTSA’s Vehicle Recalls, visit NHTSA.gov/Recalls.
For more information about the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program, visit highwaysafety.wv.gov or call 304-926-2509.