US: federal authorities implement online recall info tool image

With close to 40 million cars hit by recalls so far this year, and almost 70 million in the past two years, it would be quite difficult to know if your car, or the one you want to buy is involved in a recall.

Fortunately, US owners now have an online tool that helps them do that. The move comes as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was openly panned for lacking easy access to such information. The NHTSA now unveiled their new online search tool designed to tackle that issue. Anyone wanting to know if their vehicle needs to take a trip to the dealer can use the www.safercar.gov/vinlookup address to search for their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

“Safety is our highest priority, and an informed consumer is one of our strongest allies in ensuring recalled vehicles are repaired,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement. “Starting today car owners, shoppers, and renters can find out if a specific vehicle has a safety defect that needs to be fixed – using our free online tool.”

The new online search tool is also mandatory for the automakers’ websites. When someone is using it, results easily show up for the customer to take the appropriate action. After entering the VIN, the results will show the open recall on the respective vehicle, or – if there are none pending – it will display “No Open Recalls.”