NHTSA to Require All Automakers to Provide VIN Searches for Safety Recalls

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Aug. 15, 2013—The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Wednesday its plans to require automakers and motorcycle manufacturers to provide consumers with a free online tool that will enable them to search recall information by vehicle identification number (VIN) starting next year.

Updated weekly, the information will allow consumers to instantly determine whether action is required for uncompleted safety recall for their personal vehicles.

While several automakers already offer this feature, those who do not will have until Sept. 14, 2014 to do so.

Available through safercar.gov, the new system of searching by VIN numbers will allow consumers to tell what work has been done on a specific vehicle. Currently, consumers are limited to general searches by vehicle make and model year on the NHTSA website.

"Safety is our highest priority, and an informed consumer is one of our strongest allies in that effort," said U.S. transportation secretary Anthony Foxx. "Owners and potential buyers alike will soon be able to identify whether a safety recall for their specific vehicle is incomplete, using our free online search."

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