How to tell if your car has been recalled

Monday, October 27th, 2014 at 1:56 pm    

With two months still left in the year, there have already been a record number—over 56 million—of automotive recalls in 2014, according to TIME. The number is as troubling as it is staggering and chances are that you know someone who has had their vehicle recalled in the last 10 months. So, you may be asking yourself, why not you? Or, more accurately, why not your car? Luckily, it’s pretty simple to find out whether or not your car has been subject to a safety recall.

First and foremost, automakers are legally obligated to send letters informing the owners of recalled vehicles that their car has, in fact, been recalled. TIME reported that these letters will come complete with the notice “SAFETY RECALL NOTICE” in large typeface and an official National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) emblem somewhere on the front of the letter. So, it will be obvious that your vehicle has been made subject to a recall should you get one of these guys in the mail.

It’s not unthinkable, though, that your car may still have been recalled even if you never got a letter in the mail. Things get lost in the mail and people move all the time. So, the most efficient and definitive way of determining whether you car has been recalled is to simply search your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) in the NHTSA’s online database. If your car has been recalled in the last 15 years, this database will let you know exactly when and for what.

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