NHTSA safety recalls

The Vehicle Safety Recalls


A vehicle recall occurs when a manufacturer (or the NHTSA) determines that a vehicle has a safety-related defect or does not comply with a federal safety standard. A defect may exist in a group of vehicles of the same design or manufacture, or items of equipment of the same type and manufacture and pose an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety. 

The National Highway Safety Administration administers safety recalls in accordance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. They issue vehicle safety standards and require manufacturers to recall vehicles and equipment that have safety-related defects. Besides, the agency is authorized to file complaints from the vehicle’s owner and conduct an investigation on recall verification on its own.

According to the Safety Recall Compendium, auto manufacturers are required to notify the vehicle’s owners about the problem within 60 days. The manufacturer is responsible for repairing or replacing all associated details, though if an owner does not get it repaired in time, the vehicle continues to have an open recall. If you found an active recall listed on your vehicle, you need to contact the manufacturer or official dealer to check on and arrange a free remedy. 

When buying a vehicle, it’s vital to check if it has any previous safety recalls, especially when it is a pre-owned vehicle. ClearVin offers free safety recall checkups based on a vehicle’s year, make, and model. You can use this information to contact the manufacturer or official dealer to learn if a specific vehicle needs to be repaired as part of a recall. Recall information could relate to your safety, and that’s why we offer both VIN and YMM (year, make, model) checkups at no charge.

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