On Thursday, January 21, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a new Public Awareness Campaign, “Safe Cars Save Lives.” The goal of this campaign is to encourage automobile owners to routinely check for any applicable vehicle recalls issued by their vehicle manufacturer. As the Department of Transportation’s release notes, there were close to 900 recalls affecting 51 million vehicles nationwide — and, each year, 25% of recalled vehicles are left unrepaired.
The NHTSA has implemented a VIN look-up tool, which allows vehicle owners to input their Vehicle Identification Number to determine whether any recalls remain outstanding that apply to their vehicle. The goal of the campaign is to encourage people to develop the habit of checking for recalls related to their vehicle at least twice every year.
While some vehicle recalls may be minor, many other recalls relate to defects that jeopardize the lives of drivers and passengers. For example, vehicle recalls related to faulty airbags could prevent serious injuries and deaths from occurring, as could complying with a vehicle recall related to faulty ignitions.