Does My Car Have a Recall? – What You Need to Know About Car Safety Recalls

There is a lot of responsibility that comes with owning a vehicle. There are frequent maintenance tasks (like getting an oil change) that most car owners are aware of, but many people are unaware of the need to check if your car has any recalls that need to be addressed.

Luckily the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers a car recall check on their site that allows you to search for car recalls by VIN number. Once you have identified if your car has a recall, you must then decide if and how to get it fixed/replaced. Follow these steps for identifying if your car has a recall and what to do next.

How to Find Out if Your Car Has a Recall

You may be asking yourself “Does my car have a recall?” and “How do I determine the recalls on my car?”. It’s actually surprisingly easy. Previously, it was solely done through a paper process, which left room for error if you moved or didn’t have the correct address on file.

Now, the process for finding out if your car has a recall is electronic and much simpler! Check out these resources below where you can find vehicle recalls based off of your VIN:

Not sure how to find your VIN? It’s a 17-character string of letters and numbers that you can find in three different places:

  1. Driver’s side dash
  2. Inside the driver’s door
  3. Registration or insurance card

Once you’ve found your VIN, you’ll be able to use the recall check systems above to find any relevant vehicle recalls. Or if you’re unable to access your VIN, the Kelley Blue Book recall check also allows you to search for recalls based on your license plate number or make/model.

What to do When Your Car Has a Recall

Now that you have determined if your car has a recall, there are a couple next steps you can take. First, it’s important to know relevant vehicle recall laws and what you’re entitled to as a car owner.

Once a safety issue is identified, federal law requires that the car manufacturer provide vehicle owners with a fix or replacement free of charge and within a reasonable amount of time. Depending on the type and nature of the safety issue, manufacturers can also offer a refund. It is up to the manufacturer to determine if they want to offer a fix, replacement, or refund.

Once you’ve determined the recall on your vehicle and the type of remedy being offered, your likely next step is to find a local dealer or repair shop that can execute the fix or replacement. Be sure to call ahead so that you can know for certain that the dealer has the necessary parts/equipment to remedy the safety issue.

Now that you know how to find out if your vehicle has a recall and what to do once you know about the recall, it’s time to check your vehicle. Keeping your car as safe as possible is one of your most important responsibilities as a car owner. Try to stay on top of reported recalls by checking every time you get an oil change. That way, you will consistently stay up to date with new recalls. Remember, it’s up to you to check on vehicle recalls, so don’t wait – check today!

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