Turning on the evening news, there’s a story about a car recall. You hear the automaker’s name and the year, make and model of the vehicles involved in the recall. When you own one of these vehicles, you’ll want to get as much information about the recall as possible.
Where do you go? There are a number of places to obtain information on vehicle safety recalls. Here are the best ones.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Go to http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchVehicles to perform a search listing the model year, make and model of your vehicle. This will pull up any information on safety recalls pertaining to your vehicle.
NHTSA also lists the latest recalls by manufacturer in chronological order. Be aware that this list may be a few days behind notifications that the auto manufacturers put out themselves, as in a “voluntary” safety recall.
MORE: Check our Recalls section for information on the latest recalls.
Through the NHTSA, you can also sign up to receive recall notification via email, registering up to five specific make and model year combinations.
For iPhone owners, there’s even a free SAFERCAR app that you can download to register your vehicles and be notified by NHTSA if a safety issue is discovered. The app also allows you to submit complaints to NHTSA regarding possible safety issues with your vehicle.
Often, automakers will post information on their websites, usually the press sites, with notices and information about safety recalls. In a press release or statement from the automaker, for example, information will often be listed giving specific website URLs where consumers can go to check to see if their vehicle is involved in the recall. The release or notice will also generally include toll-free phone numbers the owner can use to get in touch with the automaker about the recall.
With your vehicle identification number (VIN) in hand, you can also call the dealership where you either purchased or have your vehicle serviced, although other dealers of the same make will also have this information. The dealer will be able to look up any recall information specific to your vehicle according to the VIN.