NHTSA rolls out VIN-driven recall search engine

Publish Date: 
Aug 20, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has unveiled a new, free, online search tool to find out if a vehicle is directly impacted by a recall.

The new lookup tool is available on www.safercar.gov/vinlookup and provides a quick and easy way to identify uncompleted recalls by entering a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). All major light vehicle and motorcycle brands can be searched.

“Safety is our highest priority, and an informed consumer is one of our strongest allies in ensuring recalled vehicles are repaired," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Wednesday. “Starting today, car owners, shoppers, and renters can find out if a specific vehicle has a safety defect that needs to be fixed – using our free online tool."

After entering the VIN into the field, results will appear if the consumer has an open recall on their vehicle, and if there are none, owners will see “No Open Recalls."

Also taking effect under the new NHTSA mandate, all major light vehicle and motorcycle manufacturers are required to provide VIN search capability for uncompleted recalls on their own websites. This data must be updated at least weekly. NHTSA’s new VIN look-up tool directly relies on information from all major automakers, and regularly updated information from the automakers is critical to the efficacy of the search tool.

“Just as every single automaker should never hesitate to recall a defective vehicle, consumers should never hesitate to get their recalled vehicle fixed," said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman. “By making individual VIN searches readily available, we’re providing another service to consumers – the peace of mind knowing that the vehicle they own, or that they are thinking of buying or renting, is free of safety defects."