When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the manufacturer of a vehicle determines that it has a dangerous part or some other safety risk, a national recall is issued. The manufacturer must then remedy the issue by fixing the problem, replacing the faulty part or offering owners a refund.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy for everyday people to keep up with the numerous recalls in effect. If you are wondering whether your motor vehicle is subject to a recall, there are ways you can find out.
Using your VIN
To make it easier for consumers to protect themselves and their families from dangerous automotive issues, the National Safety Council (NSC) has started a campaign called Check to Protect. The awareness campaign empowers car owners to search for open recalls of their vehicles.
The NSC advises that you can use your car’s VIN, or vehicle identification number, to search if there are any recalls involving the vehicle. You can find the VIN a few ways:
- Checking inside your driver’s door
- Looking on your driver’s-side dashboard
- Reading your insurance or registration
Once you find the VIN, enter it into the search function on the vehicle recall check website. It will indicate whether the manufacturer has issued a recall of your car or car part. Then, you can research options for a refund, repair or legal action, if necessary.
The importance of awareness
According to the NSC, only 83% of owners who own new-model automobiles take action when it comes to a recall involving their vehicle. Only 44% of car owners with older models will do so.
Lack of knowledge plays a major part in this. It can be difficult to keep up with the who, what, where and why of recalls. Fortunately, a simple VIN search can help consumers stay abreast of any safety issues that could involve their car. It can also avoid potential injury or major accidents that could occur as a result of the defect.