Routinely Check Recalls With Your VIN

check vehicle recallThe number of recalls affecting vehicles in North America grows annually. From faulty ignition switches, to brake line malfunctions, and air bag recalls - what should drivers be concerned of next? Mainly they should be concerned about the vehicles they own and what particular recalls affect their vehicles.

Although every car manufacturer operates an online recall search feature, the federal government also provides a comprehensive resource for checking recalls for vehicles and more. is the federal government search engine that not only connects consumers with motor vehicle recalls, but also food, prescription, and consumer product recalls.

The site allows you to search by vehicle make, model, and year, but the best way to find the recalls that are unique to your vehicles is to enter the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Whether you have a motorcycle, truck, or standard passenger car - the VIN will help you learn every recall that applies to your particular vehicle. This can help you determine and schedule necessary repairs that might help prevent a recall-related accident.

How often should you check for recalls?

  1. Schedule. Make checking for recall information part of your regular routine. This does not need to be done daily, but a few times a year can help detect and respond to a problem. Just as many Americans use Daylight Savings Time as a reminder to check batteries in smoke alarms, use it also as a time to check on all the vehicles in your household.
  2. News. Of course, if you hear something in the news or on social media regarding your car manufacturer and suspect there could be an issue, check then.
  3. Buying a new car. Before you hand over a certified check or sign on a car loan - run the VIN on the federal recalls site. You may be able to have the recalled items replaced or repaired, or you might decide on a different vehicle altogether. Either way, it can help keep you and loved ones traveling in your car safer.


Recalls take a long time to correct. For example, there are only so many air bag manufacturers. If millions of air bags were recalled, setting up a factory to produce the proper replacements takes time, then notifying vehicle owners, scheduling replacement installations, all of these factors contribute to delays. According to a segment on NPR regarding air bag recalls, automakers do not have a long list of air bag suppliers. According to the piece by Sonari Glinton, "There are just three major players. That means millions of old airbags that need to be produced, while almost as many new airbags for new cars need to be made."

If you believe your motor vehicle accident was a result of a recall, contact the auto accident attorneys at Brent Adams & Associates. Raleigh attorney Brent Adams is board-certified in trial law and is the author of a book on car accident injury cases in North Carolina.