As far as recalls go, so far this has been a very bad year for GM, and there are four more months to go before 2014 is over. With 66 recalls and close to 30 million vehicles recalled, GM as well as the industry as whole is taking a proactive stance in notifying consumers as soon as possible if they detect a problem. The lack of initiative on GM's part to inform its customers about the ignition switch problem has resulted in at least 13 and possibly more fatalities, which will cost the company more money as it settles the many lawsuits that have been filed. In order to give consumers up-to-date information about recalled vehicles, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has unveiled an online search tool to find out if the car you're driving, buying or renting is part of a recall.
If you want to find out if your car has been recalled or if it has been repaired for the recall, all you have to do is enter the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and directly access a database of all major light vehicle and motorcycle brands at www.safecar.gov/vinlookup. A cars VIN number is located on the dashboard on the driver's side of the vehicle, or on the driver's side door where the door latches when it is closed.
The NHTSA also passed a new mandate requiring all major light vehicle and motorcycle manufacturers to provide VIN search capability for uncompleted recalls on their own websites. This will ensure the information available to consumers is regularly updated and available on the government's and the manufacturer's website.
Once you enter the VIN number a status on the condition of the vehicle will inform you whether it has an open recall or not. If you see "No Open Recalls," then the vehicle you're driving or looking to drive is safe
The NHTSA website and app provides valuable information for a wide range of vehicle related safety information to help consumers make informed decisions. This includes:
- 5-Star Safety Ratings – to look up a vehicle’s crash test ratings and comparing ratings for different vehicles.
- Recalls and Complaints – check for recalls and submit complaints to NHTSA if there is a possible safety problem with your vehicle.
- Help Installing Child Seats –find and get driving directions to get assistance on ensuring your child seats are properly installed, no matter where you are.
- Safety Headlines and Alerts – get the latest news from NHTSA, as well as recall notices on your list of vehicles.
"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," said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman.
Edited by Alisen Downey