Spring Forward With Safety in Mind

Has Your Car Been Recalled?

On Sunday, March 12 at 2 a.m., Daylight Saving Time begins. You’ll lose an hour of sleep but you can gain peace of mind by using the occasion as a reminder to check your car or truck for safety recalls.

You might be familiar with using Daylight Saving as your cue to check smoke detector batteries. That’s smart. You should also add checking for vehicle recalls to your spring and fall safety routines. 

Check for Safety, Check for Recalls

Checking for recalls is simple but essential. Take these three steps toward a safer vehicle.

  1. Find your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The 17-character VIN is like your vehicle’s Social Security Number. It’s a unique code that identifies a car or truck. It’s on a label inside your driver’s side doorjamb. Or, while standing outside the vehicle at the driver’s side door, look down at where the windshield meets the dashboard. You’ll find the VIN stamped under the glass. You might also find it on your car’s registration or your insurance documents.
  2. Search using your VIN at NHTSA.gov/Recalls. Your search will tell you if there’s an open safety recall affecting your vehicle and what steps to take.
  3. Get your vehicle repaired immediately if you have an open recall. Follow the steps indicated by the response to your VIN search. Your vehicle’s manufacturer is required by law to address your recall—and to do it for free.

The Stakes

In 2016, NHTSA administered more than 900 safety recall campaigns that affected 53 million cars and trucks. Every recall is serious. Yet only about 75 percent of vehicles recalled in a given year are ever fixed. Being part of that other 25 percent puts you, your passengers, and others on the road at risk.

Report a Problem

Do you believe your vehicle has a problem that might be a safety defect? Tell NHTSA. Reports from consumers are essential to helping the agency identify safety defects.

Child Seats and Tires, Too

Safety recalls can also affect child car seats and tires. You can check for those at NHTSA.gov/Recalls, too.

A Glaring Reminder

While we’re talking about Daylight Saving, remember that turning the clocks ahead means more sunlight in the evening during your driving commute. You could face more sun glare, making it difficult to see the road. The time change might also mean that you’re operating on a little less sleep. Make sure you’re taking these factors into account to ensure safe driving.