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NHTSA Urges Consumers to Check for Vehicle Recalls with New "Safe Cars Save Lives" Safety Campaign

NHTSA Urges Consumers to Check for Vehicle Recalls with New "Safe Cars Save Lives" Safety Campaign

By Joseph Dobrian, January 25, 2016
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched “Safe Cars Save Lives,” a new public awareness campaign that calls on consumers to check for open vehicle recalls at least twice a year and to get their recalled vehicles fixed as soon as parts are available. In 2015, recalls affected a total of 51 million vehicles nationwide, but according to the NHTSA, some 25% of recalled vehicles are left unrepaired.

“Recalls are a serious safety issue that should be promptly addressed,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “An informed consumer is one of our strongest allies in ensuring recalled vehicles are repaired. Do not wait to act if your car is under recall and the parts are available.”

The Safe Cars Save Lives campaign will feature online banner ads that stress the importance of checking for recalls. The campaign also includes a series of safety videos that show consumers how to locate their vehicle identification number (VIN), how recalls and investigations work, and other information.

The campaign recommends that consumers check for recalls on their vehicle at least twice a year, using NHTSA’s free VIN look-up tool. NHTSA suggests checking on the days you set your clocks forward or back, in March and November, for Daylight Savings Time. If you find an open recall for your vehicle, NHTSA advises, contact your local dealer to schedule an appointment and bring the vehicle in for repair as soon as possible.

Safe Cars Save Lives is a critical effort for building public awareness of recalls and is the first national campaign aimed at empowering vehicle owners,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “Millions of vehicles are recalled every year. Old, new, used, or leased—one of those recalled vehicles could be yours. Check your VIN—Safe Cars Save Lives.”

When cars are recalled in the United States, manufacturers provide the affected VINs to be loaded into the NHTSA database so consumers can search for open recalls. Owners are contacted directly by the manufacturers through the postal mail using a specially marked envelope to distinguish it from junk mail.

The NHTSA has also issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). The ANPRM seeks to identify additional ways to notify vehicle owners, purchasers, and dealers of safety-related defects and non-compliances. Members of the public can read the ANPRM and provide feedback at the NHTSA website, www.nhtsa.gov.
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