The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced new plans aimed at informing consumers of uncompleted recalls. From 2014 onwards, manufacturers will be required to provide vehicle owners with the ability to search for recall information by entering their car's vehicle identification number (VIN) in an online tool.

The new policy won't take effect until August 14, 2014, giving manufacturers a full year to set up their systems. According to NHTSA, several manufacturers already offer this free-of-charge service, while the new policy will make it mandatory. When the tool goes online, it'll be accessible via the government's website.

The present system allows consumers to search for recall information based on the vehicle's make and model, but can't determine if a specific vehicle has had its recall work done. The new policy will also apply to motorcycle manufacturers.
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NHTSA to Provide Free VIN Searches to Help Consumers Check Cars, Light Trucks and Motorcycles for Uncompleted Recalls

Free Vehicle Identification Number search will improve safety and inform purchasing decisions

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced its plans to require automakers and motorcycle manufacturers to provide consumers with a free online tool that will enable them to search recall information by Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) starting next year.

"Safety is our highest priority, and an informed consumer is one of our strongest allies in that effort," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Owners and potential buyers alike will soon be able to identify whether a safety recall for their specific vehicle is incomplete, using our free online search at"

In an ongoing effort to better provide consumers with specific vehicle safety information, NHTSA today issued a final rule that will require all major automakers and motorcycle manufacturers to provide consumers with online access to recall information on vehicles searchable by VIN. This information must be updated at least weekly.

Consumers will be able to instantly determine whether action is required to address an uncompleted safety recall that affects their personal vehicle, as identified by their unique VIN. While several automakers already offer this feature, those who do not, will have until next year (8/14/14) to comply with the final rule.

This new search feature will also be available on the nation's only official automotive safety website Currently, consumers are limited to general searches by vehicle make and model year on the NHTSA website. With the new VIN search feature, consumers will be able to tell whether a specific vehicle is subject to a recall and whether the vehicle has received the remedy.

"Every day NHTSA is working for the American consumer to ensure that automakers and motorcycle manufacturers address safety defects and non-compliances, and that they also recall affected vehicles in a timely manner," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "By making individual VIN searches readily available, we're providing another service to car, light truck and motorcycle owners and potential owners – the peace of mind knowing that the vehicle they own, or that they are thinking of buying, is safe."

Today's 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, and the new SaferCar mobile app, which provides on-the-spot information on crash protection features, advanced safety features, and recalls on new vehicles and many older models.

This final rule requires large volume car, light truck and motorcycle manufacturers to provide search capability for uncompleted safety recalls on their websites. In addition, the rule will require manufacturers to inform NHTSA about exactly what type of propulsion system and crash avoidance technologies vehicles have. This new information will assist NHTSA's efforts to spot defect trends related to those systems and technologies. Manufacturers also will be required to provide vehicle owners with direct notice of recalls within 60 days of notifying NHTSA that a recall is occurring.

The Final Rule to Amend 49 CFR Parts 573, 577, and 579, Early Warning, Foreign Defect Report Regulations, and Safety Recall Regulations will be posted on the Federal Register accessible here.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      how about a database for flood vehicles.. without paying carfax
        • 2 Years Ago
        They do have one.
      • 2 Years Ago
      @jallen There is a free site where you can check for flood or salvage damage. Checkout and click on the VIN Check link. This is the vehicle database of the Nat'l Insurance Crime Bureau and lists total losses reported by insurance companies. Hope this helps.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can't to see the data collection of vins run. We all know Toyota and Honda lead the recall category for the last couple of years.
      • 2 Years Ago
        • 2 Years Ago
        Yep. Wonder what other info users will have to provide to access the service as well.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why didn't we have this already?
      • 1 Year Ago
      My 2004 Silverado is literally having major issues in reguard to it's electrical system. Has there been any recalls on any of these parts? U1255 - class 2 communication malfunction, U1000- class 2 serial communication problem. C0550 - ECU/CCU malfunction. B0790 - Transfer Case Neutral Indicator Circuit. B2725 - Active transfer case mode switch fault? U1301 - Class 2 communication circuit low voltage. End or motor, transfer case eld,. I always believed Chevy made good vehicles, so why is my truck falling apart. I had to have a new transmission installed 4 years ago. I'm not hard on my truck. Freeway driving mostly, service regularly. So what gives? Help!
      • 2 Years Ago
      NHTSA recalls go back to the carburetor days?
      • 2 Years Ago
      About. Time.
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