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Eric T. Chaffin
Eric T. Chaffin
Attorney • (888) 480-1123

New Tool to Keep Drivers Safe on the Road

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Do you keep yourself up-to-date on the latest auto recalls or safety defects for your vehicle? Like most people, you probably don’t know if anything is wrong with your car unless it becomes a national news topic. Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is working to improve safety before you even hit the road.

On August 20, 2014, the NHTSA launched a new online tool to help drivers learn whether or not their new or used vehicles has been recalled or have a safety issue that needs to be fixed. Also, “all major light vehicle and motorcycle manufacturers are required to provide VIN search capability for uncompleted recalls on their own websites,” which has to be updated every week. The tool is available on safercar.gov.

So, how does it work? All you need to do is find your Vehicle Identification Number or VIN on the driver’s side of the vehicle, either on the dashboard or in the area where the door closes. You take that unique number and enter it into the “VIN look up tool” to check and see if your vehicle has been recalled or has a safety feature that needs fixed and/or replaced. If there is a recall, then you should take it to your dealership or local auto service shop for the proper repairs.

Consumers need to take Action

You need to make sure that your vehicle is safe to drive before taking it out on the road. You can take your car for general maintenance, keep the gas tank full, and check the tire pressure, but something out of your control may need fixed. You could be seriously injured if you drive a recalled vehicle, especially if the recall involves something mechanical.

Make sure to check with your manufacturer, or now, the new tool the NHTSA has provided to all drivers. A manufacturer can issue a recall, but then you have to learn about it and take it in to your dealership to get it fixed.

General Motors has recalled millions of vehicles so far this year. The largest GM recall was due to a faulty ignition switch on certain makes and models.

Some crashes linked to the faulty ignition switch have resulted in serious and sometimes fatal injuries. GM established a program to compensate victims of those crashes. As of August 26, 2014, the program “received claims for 107 deaths.” GM originally reported 13 deaths linked to the faulty ignition switch.

Now, GM’s challenge is getting every vehicle into a shop to fix the recalled vehicles.

GM sent letters to all consumers who own recalled vehicles and haven’t brought their car in to get it repaired. GM dealerships are offering vehicle owners after-office hours to get their cars repaired.

Make sure that no matter what type of car you have, you take advantage of the new tool available through the NHTSA. It will keep you safer on the road.

If you suffer injuries in an accident related to a recalled vehicle, you should contact a personal injury attorney today.