Considering the massive waves of automobile recalls in 2014, there are more motor vehicles on the roads than ever with an acknowledged and potentially dangerous defect. However, when vehicles are recalled, a large portion of them never make it in to the dealership for a fix. Vehicle owners may not hear about the recall, may simply be too apathetic to bring their vehicle in for repairs or may fail to get a defect corrected for some other reason.
This can present a problem for consumers who are purchasing a used vehicle or who need to drive someone else’s vehicle. It is hard enough to follow recalls when you are the actual owner of a vehicle, let alone someone who is just borrowing or considering purchasing a vehicle. How are you to know if a vehicle has been recalled, and if so, whether or not the vehicle was brought in to correct the problem?
On August 20, a new service began that allows consumers to enter a vehicle identification number (otherwise known as a VIN) online in order to find out whether a specific vehicle has ever been recalled, and if so, whether the recall issue was addressed through repairs. The service will be accessible on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website as well as the sites of individual automakers. In addition, the NHTSA has an app for iOS and Android mobile devices that will give users the ability to instantly check the recall repair status of any vehicle using the VIN.
Even with this new service, injuries will still be caused by vehicle defects, leaving victims in need of compensation. But, it is another tool in the continuing fight against dangerous, defective vehicles on America’s roads and highways.
The New York Times, “Was a Recalled Car Fixed? Answer Is Now a Click Away,” Cheryl Jensen, Aug. 20, 2014