The U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced that automakers and motorcycle manufacturers will be required to notify consumers of recalls by adding an online tool to their web sites. This is so vehicle owners may quickly find information about their car through its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
Before buying a car or truck, finding out about a vehicle’s past recall history can serve as another factor for consumers to consider during their car shopping research, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Car Buying Service Manager Dave Cavano.
NHTSA said in a news release that auto, light truck and motorcycle manufacturers will be required to provide consumers specific and more clearly identifiable information by Aug. 14, 2014. It must be updated at least weekly, according to NHTSA.
The new required search tool also will be available on the federal government’s official automotive safety web site www.safercar.gov. Also using the VIN, consumers can determine if their vehicle falls under a recall and if the vehicle has received the recommended recall repair.
In addition, recall notices mailed to consumers must include the wording “urgent safety recall” in capital letters and enlarged font at the top of the letter, according to NHTSA.
The changes are being required so consumers can have an easier time determining recalls and be more informed about their vehicles and their safety, added Cavano.
“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.”
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.