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August 20, 2014

NHTSA launches recall database

The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced it has unveiled a new, free, online search tool consumers can use to find out if a vehicle is directly impacted by a recall.

The new tool is available on www.safercar.gov/vinlookup and provides consumers with a quick and easy way to identify uncompleted recalls by entering their vehicle identification number (VIN). All major light vehicle and motorcycle brands can be searched.

“Safety is our highest priority, and an informed consumer is one of our strongest allies in ensuring recalled vehicles are repaired," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

“Starting today, car owners, shoppers and renters can find out if a specific vehicle has a safety defect that needs to be fixed -- using our free online tool."

Under the new NHTSA mandate, all major light vehicle and motorcycle manufacturers are required to provide VIN search capability for uncompleted recalls on their own websites. This data must be updated at least weekly.

NHTSA says its new VIN look-up tool directly relies on information from all major automakers, and regularly updated information from the automakers is critical to the efficacy of the search tool.

The announcement builds on NHTSA’s current efforts to provide consumers with information to help them make informed decisions, including the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) 5-Star Ratings System, Recall envelope and Safercar mobile apps which provide on-the-spot information on crash protection features, advanced safety features, and recalls on new vehicles and many older models.

In addition, NHTSA is working with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) to help ensure that franchise dealerships across the United States become aware of and understand how to use the new VIN search tool.

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