How to Check if Your Auto is on the Car Safety Recall List

January 27, 2012

When buying a car, it's always a prudent step to find out if the vehicle you're considering has been issued a car safety recall. Car manufacturers send out recall notices to the owners of affected vehicles, but occasionally these can get lost in the mail and remain unresolved. If you're purchasing a used vehicle, this is an important step to investigate because it can be the tipping point in deciding whether or not to move ahead with the sale. If you have already purchased your car and want to find out if there are any pending safety recalls issued, the following info will help.

Contact Dealership

Contact a local dealership for the make of your car and talk to a service department representative. They can search the manufacturer's database using the VIN number of your car to find all records on recalls issued, if any. This is the best and fastest way to research, and an easy way to coordinate your vehicle for service to get the safety recall taken care of.

If you're in the process of purchasing a vehicle from a dealership, ask them to investigate the safety recall history of the car for you. They should be able to obtain the records by the VIN number.

Research Option 1

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Safercar.gov are government entities that work in tandem to monitor and provide recall information and defect investigations for consumers. Individuals can search online by make, model and year for recall information, technical service bulletins (TSA) and other related information. Both sites have helpful tools to search auto safety ratings and other information to educate consumers of important vehicle safety topics.

Research Option 2

Obtain a vehicle history report from a reputable company online such as Carfax. Carfax has a free recall search page where consumers can check auto recalls by manufacturer.

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