The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration is high-lighting Vehicle Safety Recalls Week from March 6-12 to encourage Marylanders to proactively check their vehicles’ recall status and have any open recalls resolved immediately. All repairs for recalls are free at an authorized dealership.
“During Vehicle Safety Recalls Week, we urge everyone to check your vehicle and the vehicles of loved ones for any open recalls,” said Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer. “Keeping our roadways safe is everyone’s responsibility. If left unrepaired, safety recalls can put lives at risk. Service open recalls in a timely fashion and drive with confidence.”
In 2021, there were 1,093 safety recalls affecting more than 34 million vehicles and other automotive equipment in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Checking for safety recalls should be a part of the vehicle’s maintenance routine, similar to checking oil and tire pressure. Recall repairs also can help improve the longevity of a vehicle and avoid costly repairs or damage.
In 2018, Maryland became one of the first states in the nation to inform drivers of open vehicle safety recalls through registration renewal notices, which are sent to vehicle owners every two years. Any open recalls are printed at the bottom of a driver’s registration renewal notice sent via mail and email about 60 days before a registration period ends. Although grant funding for the program ended in 2020, the Motor Vehicle Administration continued the recall notification service due to its success. In addition to the notices sent with vehicle registration renewals, there are several ways customers can check for open recalls, including:
Checking your VIN is easy: The 17-digit number is located on the lower portion of your car windshield on the driver’s side. It also may be on the car registration card, or on your insurance card. Enter this number into the search bar at NHTSA.gov/recalls. In seconds, you’ll know if your vehicle is subject to an open safety recall.
Once you’ve checked your VIN for an open recall, sign up for Recall Alerts. If your vehicle is included in a future recall, you will receive an email letting you know. You can also download National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s updated SaferCar app to stay informed about your vehicle. Once in the app, enter the VIN as well as your car seat, tire or other automotive equipment information, and NHTSA will send you an alert if a safety recall is issued on them.
If you discover a safety recall, repair it immediately.
If your vehicle is affected by a safety recall, contact your local dealer to schedule a recall repair as soon as possible. All recall repairs at your local dealership are free.
Any customer who thinks they may have a safety-related defect that is not part of a current recall should contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration online or call the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236.