Recalls Get New Federal Rule to Fight Against Dangerous Cars On The Road and Accidents From Vehicle Defects: Individual VIN Search for Recalls By August 2014

Recalls Get New Federal Rule to Fight Against Dangerous Cars On The Road and Accidents From Vehicle Defects: Individual VIN Search for Recalls By August 2014

Cars, SUVs, Pickups, Minivans, Sedans, Passenger Vans, Convertibles, Motorcycles, Mopeds, Motorized Scooters – no matter the type of motor vehicle you drive, chances are high that the manufacturer of that vehicle has issued a recall of some of its products, or the federal government has recalled the manufacturer on its own. Recalls are commonplace among automobile manufacturers these days – and some of the recalls are more dangerous (and scary) than others.

Remember the Ford recalls for Ford trucks and sedans bursting into flames while parked or the recent Toyota Lexus recalls for spontaneous acceleration?  Also, consider some of our past coverage of automobile manufacturer recalls including:

Recalls Are The Result of Defective Products Being Sold and Driven on American Roads

The bottom line of any car recall is that the car has a problem, a defect, that needs repair or replacement at the automobile dealer. Sometimes these recalls are minor defects, and in more serious cases, the defects are major problems that can result in accidents and crashes where people are seriously injured or killed.

Wrongful deaths cases in car accidents may well point to a defective product or defective design in the car as the proximate cause of the accident. Complicated car crash injury lawsuits involve disputes not only regarding driver fault and road conditions, but whether or not the machines themselves played a role in the accident.

Currently, drivers have to depend upon media notifications or finding a notice in their mailbox to learn that their vehicle is subject to a recall. Anyone curious about their vehicle’s safety or perhaps suspicious that the vehicle is subject to a recall can go online and if they have the correct information, they can surf through recall information for that make and model and year via sites like SaferCar.Gov.

It’s troublesome for many drivers and car owners to do this. This week, the federal government announced that a new federal rule will be changing things.

New Federal Regulation Will Require Individual VIN Search for Manufacturer Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) released news of a new federal requirement regarding all car recalls in the United States, to make it easier for everyone to find out about their particular vehicle and whether or not it is subject to a serious and dangerous recall situation: beginning in 2014, you will be able to surf using your own VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) to find out the details about any and all recalls that pertain to your specific vehicle.

This is especially important for those who own used vehicles as well as those who are considering buying a pre-owned vehicle. As the federal agency rule amendments (read them here) goes into effect, it will require all automobile and motorcycle manufacturers in the United States to place on the web as a free service a current roster of recalls pertaining to their products, searchable for free by VIN (they are required to update at least once a week). All these companies must have these web pages up and running by August 14, 2014. The Department of Transportation’s site will also have the free VIN recall search feature, compiling all the manufacturers’ information into one database.


“Every day NHTSA is working for the American consumer to ensure that automakers and motorcycle manufacturers address safety defects and non-compliances, and that they also recall affected vehicles in a timely manner,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “By making individual VIN searches readily available, we’re providing another service to car, light truck and motorcycle owners and potential owners – the peace of mind knowing that the vehicle they own, or that they are thinking of buying, is safe.”

Specifically, from the NHTSA release:

This final rule requires large volume car, light truck and motorcycle manufacturers to provide search capability for uncompleted safety recalls on their websites. In addition, the rule will require manufacturers to inform NHTSA about exactly what type of propulsion system and crash avoidance technologies vehicles have. This new information will assist NHTSA’s efforts to spot defect trends related to those systems and technologies. Manufacturers also will be required to provide vehicle owners with direct notice of recalls within 60 days of notifying NHTSA that a recall is occurring.

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