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What’s the easiest way to find out if a car has recalls?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2022 | Consumer Protection |

When you buy a vehicle, you expect that it is safe to drive. Manufacturers have to test vehicles for their performance in collisions. The design phase for a specific vehicle could last years as the company seeks to address all potential safety issues.

Most of the time, manufacturers catch major problems before the vehicles they design go to mass production. However, sometimes they miss an obvious issue. Other times, they receive defective components from an outside manufacturer. Vehicles with design flaws or dangerous parts are often part of manufacturer recalls.

How can you quickly and conclusively verify if your vehicle is part of a recent recall?

There is a federal agency that keeps records of recalls

There are numerous magazines and consumer advocacy groups that track significant recalls. You could find out very quickly about a recent recall by subscribing to specific mailing lists or checking certain websites frequently. Still, you could easily overlook a particular headline that might apply to your vehicle.

If you want to ensure no recalled components in your vehicle whatsoever, you will need your vehicle identification number (VIN). Your VIN is a 17-digit number that is unique to your vehicle. It helps the government and manufacturers track cars for safety and legal purposes.

With this number, you can verify whether the manufacturer has recalled your vehicle or any of the parts used in its production. By entering your VIN on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website, you can quickly and easily validate whether or not your vehicle is part of any ongoing recalls.

What does a recall mean?

Typically, your vehicle’s involvement in a recall will require that you take it back to a dealership or a certified service center. The manufacturer will usually cover repairing the vehicle or replacing the defective components.

In many cases, you will have to schedule your appointment, and it may be necessary to wait because recalls often involve thousands of vehicles at once. Those who get into crashes because they didn’t know about the recall or couldn’t get the repairs in a timely manner may have grounds for a claim against the manufacturer.

Learning more about protecting yourself from defective products will help keep you and your family safe out on the road.