NHTSA app alerts drivers about vehicle recalls


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HOUSTON (CW39)– Typically, you will receive a notice in the mail if a recall is issued for a car you own. For years now, people have also been able to use their Vehicle Identification Number to check for recalls on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.

Now, there’s even an easier way to keep tabs on vehicle safety recalls. Recently, NHTSA updated their Safer Car app.

Stephen Ridella, their Director of the Office of Defects Investigation explains how the app works.

“You set up your virtual garage which means you can put in your vehicle identification number for your car, your kids car, any family member you want. You can put in child’s seats, you can put in tires and you create this virtual garage and what happens is as recalls are issued by the manufacturer, it will automatically ping you and say, ‘Hey there’s now a recall on your car.’ It will give you an opportunity to look for the closest dealership and you can arrange an appointment and get it fixed,” explained Ridella.

Ridella said while 65-75% of car recalls get taken care of, historically child seats are not returned as often because people don’t send in their registration card, car seats change hands often as people sometimes borrow them from other people.

In 2019 there were 966 safety recalls that affected more than 53 million vehicles and pieces of vehicle equipment in the United States.

You’ve likely heard about the tens of millions of Takata air bags that have been recalled. Another recent high-profile recall involves Kia and Hyundai vehicles.

“Some of the more recent high-profile recalls involve vehicles from both Hyundai and Kia brands. There are a number of recalls related to non-crash fires that have occurred. We’re very concerned about that. They’ve been very proactive in issuing several recalls for a variety of reasons and that’s something that affects a lot of vehicles so we want people to be aware of that one as well,” said Ridella.

Though not all recalls are high profile, Ridella went on to explain they all are important and wants to remind people not to risk your safety, the safety of your loved ones or others on the road by not addressing any open recalls on your car.

The Safer Car app is free to download on the App store and for Android devices.

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