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Fall Back, then Check for Vehicle Recalls

Fall Back, then Check for Vehicle Recalls

Don’t forget to fall back this Sunday, November 5 at 2 a.m., as Daylight Saving Time ends. This is a wonderful time of year to check off a few other housekeeping details, including checking your smoke detector batteries and taking a moment to check for vehicle safety recalls. Adding this to your spring and fall safety routines keeps you and your family safe all year long. You can also take the opportunity to check for safety recalls for child car seats and tires. To see a list of open recalls, visit NHTSA.gov/Recalls.

How Do I Check for Recalls?

Checking for recalls is simple but essential. Take these three steps toward a safer vehicle.

  1. Find your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The 17-character VIN is like your vehicle’s Social Security Number. It’s a unique code that identifies a car or truck. It’s on a label inside your driver’s side doorjamb. Or, while standing outside the vehicle at the driver’s side door, look down at where the windshield meets the dashboard. You’ll find the VIN stamped under the glass. You might also find it on your car’s registration or your insurance documents.
  2. Search using your VIN at NHTSA.gov/Recalls. Your search will tell you if there’s an open safety recall affecting your vehicle and what steps to take.
  3. Get your vehicle repaired immediately if you have an open recall. Follow the steps indicated by your VIN search. Your vehicle’s manufacturer is required by law to address your recall—and to do it for free.
  4. Sign up for free safety recall e-mails. Visit https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/nhtsa/subscriptions and sign up for NHTSA’s recall notifications, which will alert you about recalls for your vehicle, tires, or child car seats. This service is free.


Why Do I Need to Check for Recalls?

Vehicle recalls in the United States hit an all-time high in 2016 for the third year in a row. Automakers initiated 927 separate recalls affecting a record 53.2 million vehicles--the highest number of auto recalls in one year.

Even with these numbers, only about 75 percent of vehicles recalled in a given year are ever fixed. Being part of that other 25 percent puts you, your passengers, and others on the road at risk. Read more about 2016 recalls in the Recall Annual Report.

How Can I Report a Problem?

Do you believe your vehicle has a problem that might be a safety defect? Tell NHTSA. Reports from consumers are essential to helping the agency identify safety defects.

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