Roughly one out of every five vehicles, or nearly 53 million vehicles, on the road today have unrepaired safety recalls, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The organization observed Vehicle Safety Recalls Week last week, March 7-11. The National Safety Council (NSC) continually takes actions to reverse this trend.
Every March, the NSC runs the Check to Protect program and reminds all owners, including fleet operators, to check their vehicles for an open recall and get any defects they discovered repaired for free as soon as possible.
Many recalls involve defective parts that can pose life-threatening risks to drivers or passengers. Roadway fatalities are at an alarming high, reaching over 46,000 deaths in 2021, a 9% increase from 2020. While exact numbers are not available, experts say vehicle defects contribute to crashes, injuries and fatalities on U.S. highways and byways.
Vehicle owners and fleet managers can easily learn if their vehicle(s) have an open recall by visiting CheckToProtect.org and entering their license plate number(s) and state. Owners may also enter the 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN to learn about open recalls. The VIN can be found on the driver’s side dash, inside the driver’s door, or on registration or insurance documents.
The NSC notes that all recalls are free to have repaired at authorized dealers, regardless of whether the vehicle was purchased from the dealer.