Even some of the best-built cars on the market can have flaws from time to time, which is why it’s so important to stay on top of vehicle recalls.
Typically, if your vehicle is found to have a recall, the manufacturer must provide a written notice to all who may be impacted by the defect. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Manufacturers are... required to notify owners by mail within 60 days of notifying NHTSA of a recall decision. Look for this distinct label to distinguish critical safety recall information from other marketing material:”
However, there are other ways to check for recalls if you’re afraid you didn’t receive a notification for some reason. Here’s what you need to know:
You Can Check for Recalls Online
The NHTSA has a handy recall tool on its website that allows you to enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) to verify whether your vehicle is impacted by a recall.
All you have to do is go to this webpage and type your VIN into the search bar. Any recalls issued for your vehicle will appear with detailed information.
How to Find Your VIN
Your 17-character VIN can be found on the lower left of your vehicle’s windshield (see the graphic below for a visual representation).
You may also find your VIN on your vehicle’s registration card as well as your insurance card.
You Can Sign Up for Recall Alerts via Email
If you’d like a list of all vehicle recalls sent directly to your inbox, you have the option to sign up for recall alerts via email. NHTSA sends regular emails listing all of the most recently issued vehicle recalls.
You can sign up to receive NHTSA recall notification emails here.