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New NHTSA Website Feature Makes It Easier to Find Recalls

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author photo by Doug DeMuro July 2015
  • NHTSA website feature lets drivers know if their car is being recalled
  • Feature allows drivers to input their VIN, and check for open recalls
  • Drivers can also use the feature to look up a used car before buying it

In recent months and years, automotive recalls have been a major topic in the news. Dozens of automakers have recalled millions of cars in the last few years for a wide range of problems, ranging from Toyota's acceleration pedal issues and General Motors' ignition switch troubles to exploding airbags that affect many automotive brands.

With so many recalls, it can be hard to know whether your car is affected. Fortunately, a new feature located on the website of the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) makes things a little easier.

That feature is a vehicle identification number (VIN) look-up tool, and it allows you to input your vehicle's unique VIN in order to find out whether it's currently subject to a recall. If it is, the NHTSA's site will tell you everything about the recall, from a summary of the problem and the potential safety risk to whether the recall has been performed.

This feature isn't only beneficial to drivers who want to see if their own car has been recalled. Shoppers interested in buying a used car can also check to see whether it's been recalled and whether the recalls have been addressed. Although recalls are performed free of charge, checking the NHTSA's site before you buy a car can be helpful to let you know if you should bring it in for recall work right away.

If you're interested in checking to see whether your car has been recalled or whether a potential used car you're considering to buy has been recalled, log on to the NHTSA's VIN look-up site at: https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/. Once you input your VIN, you'll find detailed information about any and all open recalls for your car of choice.

What it means to you: By offering a VIN lookup feature, the NHTSA's website helps drivers stay safe.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
New NHTSA Website Feature Makes It Easier to Find Recalls - Autotrader