Unfortunately, virtually every automobile manufacturer has had to recall vehicles. Some were recalled because the vehicle didn't meet governmental standards while others have been recalled due to manufacturer defects. Unfortunately, most recalls involve some type of safety issue such as an ignition issue which could cause a fire, brake issues or even issues such as the infamous "sticking gas pedal" recall just a few years ago. Some recalls have been serious enough that many deaths have occurred before the recall was mandated. Today, fortunately, most recalls are voluntary and most auto owners have the repairs completed.
However, there are many owners who don't. This could be because they never knew about the recall in the first place, or never took the time to do it. Now that there is a website where an owner or prospective buyer only has to input the VIN number, checking to see if a vehicle is or has been part of a recall is easier than ever. Just a few mouse clicks and they'll know if the vehicle needs to be checked or not.
NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman states:
“Just as every single automaker should never hesitate to recall a defective vehicle, consumers should never hesitate to get their recalled vehicle fixed. By making individual VIN searches readily available, we’re providing another service to consumers – the peace of mind knowing that the vehicle they own, or that they are thinking of buying or renting, is free of safety defects."
To further enhance the recall process, the NHTSA has also mandated that all light vehicle and motorcycle manufacturers are also required to have VIN search for open recall capability as well and that the data in their databases is to be updated weekly. This gives consumers even more ways to make sure their vehicle is as safe as possible.
It only takes a few seconds to locate the VIN number on a vehicle. There are several places where the VIN number is either stamped or on a plate which makes the number easy to find. The two easiest places are to stand outside the car on the drivers side and look at the front of the dashboard for a plate with the VIN number on it. The other easy place is to look at the door post where the door latches on the drivers side where the VIN number is stamped. To see if a vehicle has been recalled, either go to the manufacturer's website and find the VIN search area or go to www.safercar.gov/vinlookup. If the vehicle is part of an open recall, have it checked immediately.