R. Scott King, BSME, Principal Automotive / Mechanical Engineer
In 2019 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) administered the recalls of more than 38 million vehicles. Of those recalled vehicles, however, NHTSA estimates that only about 75% were ever fixed. Noticing similar historic uncompleted recall rates, NHTSA has initiated Vehicle Safety Recalls Week. Planned as a twice-yearly event coinciding with spring and fall clock changes, NHTSA hopes that car owners will visit their site and check for vehicle recalls after replacing the batteries in their smoke detectors.
The NHTSA website has a user-friendly search tool that allows owners to enter a vehicle’s 17-digit identification number, often found on a label affixed to the driver’s door jam, and find out whether the vehicle is subject to any uncompleted recall. If it is, the website provides details about the recall and how to get repairs. Moreover, the website database is updated regularly; so, it can be helpful to check regularly. In addition to its primary goal of improving highway safety, this search tool is proven to be a valuable tool in automotive claims and related investigations.