New Online Tool for Determining Automobile Recall Work Completion

This year alone, automakers have recalled 46 million vehicles. And 2014 promises to be a record year for auto recalls, with manufacturers having recalled more motor vehicles than at any other point in U.S. history. It is very important for motorists to know both if the car they are driving has been recalled, and also whether the repair work was actually completed. Up until recently, knowing if the recall work was done was very difficult.

Now that will change. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed a new online tool that allows consumers to enter automobile recall information, and determine whether the car has been repaired. This search feature will be especially useful for people who buy used cars. Very often, cars that have been recalled are not fixed, and the owner ultimately sells them. When these cars end up on a used-car lot, there previously was no information about the recall-related defect having been fixed.

Similar concerns have always existed in the rental car industry. For years, rental car companies have included unrepaired cars on their lots, with no way for a driver to verify repair work completion. Now, consumers can simply key-in the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for the car into the online search tool, and determine whether the recall has been repaired and the defect fixed.

The feature is available on www.safercar.gov, operated by the NHTSA. According to administration officials, the need for a feature like this was urgent to help eliminate serious car accidents. In some cases, motorists are not aware of the recall, while in other cases, they don't bother to get their recalled car to a dealer because they don't believe the defect is very serious. Now, drivers have an option for learning about how safe the car they are driving may be, and whether they should look for a better alternative before hitting the roadways.

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