Recalls by VIN

Initiated by an automaker or required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a recall is issued when a vehicle:

  • Is found to have a safety-related defect.
  • Doesn't meet federal safety standards any longer.

When a recall occurs, it will be associated with the vehicle identification numbers (VINs) of all affected registered vehicles. You can use your VIN to find out whether your car or other vehicle falls under the recall, and what your next steps are to have the problem repaired.

VIN Recall Information

While most registered car owners will receive recall information by mail, this may not always be the case. If you hear a report of a recall for your vehicle's make and model, you should be proactive and run a VIN search.

By running a VIN search on your vehicle, you will be made aware of:

  • Current recalls issued for your vehicle.
  • All safety recalls for your vehicle over the past 15 years.
  • Any recalls that are incomplete.

Note that a VIN search may NOT include information for your car such as:

  • Non-safety related recalls.
  • Recalls on international vehicles.
  • Recently announced recalls.
  • Recalls older than 15 years.

Whether you want more information regarding a recent vehicle recall, or you just want to check if a recall on your car exists, conducting a VIN search will get you up to date. The NHTSA provides a VIN lookup service to help you find relevant recall information.

Other options to search recall information with your VIN include:

  • Visiting your manufacturer's website.
  • Get the NHTSA mobile app with the recall VIN alert.
  • Sign up for NHTSA e-mail alerts.
  • Obtain a vehicle history report (VHR) on your vehicle or a vehicle you're interested in purchasing.

Getting Your Vehicle Repaired

Any dealership that sells your vehicle make and model can make necessary repairs due to a recall. Be sure to call the dealership ahead of time and have your VIN number ready. You should not be charged for any repairs made because of a safety recall.

Be prepared to wait. It may take several weeks to receive the parts needed for your vehicle's maintenance, due to the volume of other drivers getting the same repairs.

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