Daylight saving time in the US begins this coming Sunday, 10 March. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is asking car owners to use this occasion as your cue to check for recalls on their vehicles.
If a vehicle is subject to a recall, manufacturers are required to notify the owner and then fix your car or truck for free. But with cars staying on the road longer and changing hands between multiple owners, it can be difficult to reach and inform the current owner. NHTSA urges owners to take three steps toward a safer vehicle.
- Find the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The 17-character VIN is a unique code that identifies a car or truck. It’s on a label inside the driver’s side door jamb and is also stamped under the glass where the windshield meets the dashboard.
- Search using the VIN at NHTSA.gov/Recalls. The search will tell if there’s an open safety recall affecting a vehicle and what steps to take. Or sign up for e-mail recall alerts at NHTSA.gov/alerts.
- Get the vehicle repaired immediately if there is an open recall. Follow the steps indicated in the recall notice. The vehicle’s manufacturer is required by law to address the recall for free.
In 2018, there were more than 900 recalls affecting over 33.5 million vehicles in the United States; only about 75% of vehicles recalled in a given year are ever fixed.