NHTSA Unveils New Online Tool Consumers Can Use to Check for Vehicle Recalls

Officials urge consumers to verify whether their vehicle has been recalled and ensure it is promptly fixed.

Federal safety officials have released a new on-line tool that provides a convenient way for consumers to check if their vehicle is subject to an open safety recall, which may expose their families and other motorists to serious safety risks.

In a press release issued on March 4, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the launch of a system that allows consumers to search for vehicle recalls using only a license plate number. The new tool is part of recent efforts made by the NHTSA to increase recall awareness and repair completion rates in the U.S.

In 2023, there were at least 1,000 recalls, impacting nearly 35 million vehicles. The newly introduced recall search tool makes it easier for consumers to identify recalls and complete any necessary repairs, the agency indicates.

Recall Check By License Plate

The NHTSA has had a recall search tool available online for years. However, owners could only search by using the vehicle identification number, or vehicle year, make and model.

The new online search tool allows consumers to search for whether their vehicle has been recalled by using only their vehicle’s license plate number. Consumers can also search for safety recalls, investigations, complaints, and manufacturer communications related to car seats, tires, and other vehicle equipment.

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NHTSA officials recommend vehicle owners check for recalls on their vehicles at least twice a year. They recommended consumers use daylight savings time changes as a reminder.

If an open recall is identified, the NHTSA indicates consumers should promptly schedule an appointment with a manufacturer-approved dealer to schedule their vehicle repair.

The new online search tool is available at NHTSA.gov/Recalls. Consumers may also sign up at NHTSA.gov/Alerts to be notified of vehicle recalls by email, or download the SaferCar App to receive automatic vehicle recall notifications.

To report safety defects that are not part of an open recall, consumers may visit NHTSA.gov, or call the agency’s vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time.


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