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How to Check If Your Vehicle Is Part of a Safety Recall


When you buy or drive a car, you expect that it will be reasonably safe for you, your passengers, and others on the road. However, car manufacturers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issue thousands of safety recalls each year to fix defects or malfunctioning vehicles. In 2019 alone, there were 966 recalls affecting more than 53 million vehicles!

While the car companies are required to notify consumers of new recalls, many drivers do not to receive these notices. This is because the NHTSA only requires manufacturers to notify consumers of recalls via mail, so such a notice can easily get lost in bills, letters, or flyers. Taking a few moments each year to check for auto recalls can make a life-saving difference.

Common Types of Safety Recalls

In order to keep consumers safe, the NHTSA sets safety standards that require car companies to manufacture, market, and sell vehicles only if they meet minimum performance and safety requirements.

In most instances, a car manufacturer will issue a recall before the NHTSA has to intervene. A recall will ultimately be issued when a vehicle part, car seat, or other equipment creates a safety concern. Some of the most common types of recalls effect:

  • Steering parts
  • Accelerator controls
  • Brakes
  • Airbags
  • Seatbelts
  • Fuel systems
  • Wheels
  • Power steering
  • Electrical systems

Using Your VIN to Check for Recalls

If you receive notification that your vehicle has been recalled due to a safety concern, you should take it in to be fixed immediately. While it may be inconvenient, an outstanding recall can lead to life-altering injuries. Plus, the manufacturer is legally required to fix the defect at no cost to you!

Additionally, you can also periodically check to see whether your vehicle is part of a recall by looking up your vehicle identification number (VIN). If you are not sure where to find your VIN, it can typically be found in any document related to the car itself, such as:

  • The title
  • The registration card
  • The insurance card
  • The owner’s manual
  • Past repair records

Websites such as and exist and allow you to enter your VIN and/or your vehicle make, model, and year to get up-to-date recall information. The NHTSA also has a SaferCar app that you can download on your smartphone in order to let it check for you, as well as an option for consumers to sign up for email alerts at

Injured Due to a Defective Auto Part?

Whether or not the defect was part of a safety recall does not matter. If you’ve been injured in an accident due to a defective car or vehicle part, you most likely have legal rights to compensation in order to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and more.

There are several parties that may be liable for accidents caused by auto defects, including manufacturers, wholesalers, car dealerships, and auto part manufacturers. The seasoned legal team at Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley is here to review your case free of charge to determine who is liable and fight for the compensation that you deserve and need to cover.

Get started by calling (530) 413-0245 at your earliest convenience!

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