January 15, 2021 | Washington, DC
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today announced that three States will receive a total of $1.3 million to inform vehicle owners about open recalls. The States’ motor vehicle departments will use the funds to provide recall information with vehicle registration and at other points of contact.
“The U.S. Department of Transportation is proud to work with these three States on this commonsense solution to help drivers find and repair unremedied vehicles on American roadways,” said Acting U.S. Transportation Secretary Steven Bradbury.
The three States that will receive the grant funding are California, Ohio and Texas. California registers over 36 million vehicles on an annual basis, Ohio registers more than 12 million vehicles, and Texas conducts 18 million safety inspections per year.
The recall notice the State motor vehicle departments will provide to consumers will include a brief description of the defect, the nature of the recall, and information on getting it fixed immediately at a manufacturer’s authorized dealer. States were also encouraged to consider recall notification during driver’s license renewal, emissions checks, or safety inspections.
In 2017, NHTSA signed a $222,300 cooperative agreement with Maryland, launching a two-year pilot program to provide open recall information to consumers when they register a new vehicle or renew a registration. Over the course of the two-year pilot program, Maryland had nearly 4.3 million vehicle registrations renewed, with more than 1 million safety recalls identified. According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, 47.8% of these recalls were at least two years old, reaching owners who may have been unaware of recalls on their vehicles.
“Getting a vehicle recall repaired could save your life – or the life of someone you love. We’ve seen remarkable success with this program in Maryland, and we are pleased to be able to expand it to three more states,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens.
In 2019, there were 966 safety recalls affecting more than 53 million vehicles and motor vehicle equipment in the United States. Despite recall notices and public warnings, NHTSA estimates that 25% of recalled vehicles still go unrepaired.
Vehicle recalls are serious and can pose a safety risk to drivers and their families. All vehicle recall repairs are free at the vehicle brand’s dealership.
During the summer, NHTSA launched its free mobile SaferCar app. After the user enters a vehicle identification number or selects a car seat or tire, the app automatically checks whether a recall is open and alerts the user when a new recall is announced. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Vehicle owners can also check for recalls any time by using NHTSA’s VIN lookup tool at NHTSA.gov/recalls.