Pleasanton, CA – June 16, 2021 – When recalls affect brand new cars, car manufacturers are required to have the vehicles repaired before selling them to customers. Efforts must also be made to contact owners after cars leave dealers’ lots.
However, due to legal loopholes and loose regulations, in some states used car dealers can sell cars without fixing recalls first, and used car owners might not be informed when their car has been recalled.
Here are a few things you can do to learn about any safety defects your used car has to protect your health and well-being and that of your loved ones.
1. When you are buying, search for open recalls using the car’s VIN
Use a tool like Motorsafety.org’s recall lookup and plug in your vehicle identification number (VIN) to find out if your car has any recalls that need fixing.
To find your VIN, check out this resource.
2. Update your registration
Auto manufacturers use the contact information listed in vehicle registrations at the DMV to track down the current owners of a vehicle under recall. Make sure the address listed on your vehicle’s registration is current so that recall notices will be mailed to your address.
3. Register directly with the manufacturer
Many manufacturers have an “owners” page on their website that allows owners to register their vehicle with them even if they bought it used. (For example, this is Toyota’s page.) They can use your registration information to contact you if your car is ever recalled.
Over 54 million vehicles were recalled in the U.S. last year and more recalls are issued every week. Check your car for unrepaired recalls using MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.