Graphic courtesy of the National Safety Council.

Graphic courtesy of the National Safety Council.

The National Safety Council is teaming with FCA US to launch Check To Protect, a national campaign to encourage vehicle owners to check for and quickly address open safety recalls.

Check To Protect is set to begin running advertisements in July.

More than 53 million — that is, more than one in four — vehicles on the road have unresolved safety recalls, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This comes at a time when motor vehicle fatalities are rising at a pace not seen in more than 50 years. 

Using a special NHTSA website, vehicle owners can quickly check to see whether any of their vehicles have an open recall. The search is conducted using vehicle identification numbers (VINs).

“Vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, National Safety Council president and CEO. “When vehicles are in top form, they reduce critical risks. Unfortunately, too many drivers are complacent when it comes to recalls, or they are unsure whether their car is subject to one. Check To Protect should help close that knowledge gap and, by extension, make our roads safer.”

The problem is worse among owners of older and used vehicles. The recall completion rate for newer vehicles is 83%, according to a survey by both the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Global Automakers. However, that rate is just 44% for vehicles five to 10 years old.

Older vehicles tend to change hands more frequently, making it harder to track current owners with recall notification systems. This finding motivated the National Safety Council and FCA US to gear Check to Protect particularly for owners of older and used vehicles.

FCA US is the founding coalition member of Check To Protect, providing initial funding for the effort. The aim of the coalition is to bring together the automotive industry, traffic safety advocacy groups, and federal and state government representatives to improve recall compliance.