When it comes to vehicle recalls, U.S. law requires that affected owners be notified via first class mail. However, circumstances may occur where a recall notice does not reach the right person.
For example, if you move and don’t update your address on your vehicle registration, it’s possible you won’t receive the notification. Another example is, after purchasing a used vehicle, it can take some time for your information as the new owner to be received by the manufacturer. Mail sent in this time period may go to the former owner and not you.
For these reasons, and others, you should know where you can go to see if a recall has been issued for your vehicle.
Start with finding your VIN
The first step is to locate your 17-character vehicle identification number (VIN). Your VIN can be found on your insurance card, title/registration, near the vehicle’s windshield on the driver’s side dashboard and inside the driver’s door.
Once you have your VIN, you have a couple of choices. One is visiting your manufacturer’s website for information.
For all Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT®, Jeep®, Ram and Wagoneer vehicles, visit recalls.mopar.com. Enter your VIN and receive a list of all the complete and incomplete recalls. This site also provides brief descriptions of the safety risk and repair.
Simply enter your VIN for information on any recalls affecting your vehicle.
Information for multiple vehicles
Another option is to go to www.checktoprotect.org. This site offers a recall look-up by license plate or VIN for most light auto manufacturers. If you have several vehicles to look up, maybe by multiple manufacturers, and are only interested in outstanding recall information, this site provides a quick and easy way to find recall information for all those vehicles at once.
If you prefer, you can find the same information on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) database www.nhtsa.gov/recalls. You can also call the NHTSA at 888.327.4236. You will still need your VIN, so make sure you have it handy before you call.
Timing is everything
Whether you discover a recall has been issued for your vehicle via mail notification or one of the many VIN look-up methods, it’s important to make an appointment as soon as possible.
Read the details of the notification so you’re familiar with special instructions regarding the recall. Then contact your local dealership to schedule the best possible time for your vehicle to be repaired.
Recalls are free and can be completed at any authorized dealership, regardless of where you purchased the vehicle or if you are the original owner.