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Consumer News

New NHTSA Database Helping Public Find Out About Vehicle Recalls

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(Photo Credit: CBS)

(Photo Credit: CBS)

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PITTSBURGH (CBS) — One in four recalled cars never get the needed fix because vehicle owners often don’t even know about the recall.

But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration now has a new site to help people find out. The information could also protect people shopping for a used car.

Considering about one out of every five cars in the United States has been recalled, more cars this year than ever before, odds are you’re either driving one, or driving alongside one.

Checking for recalls is now much easier thanks to NHTSA new database of recalled cars, simply enter you VIN and NHTSA lists any open recalls for your vehicle.

But while safety advocates call the database is a great tool, they’re concerned it may shift the onus onto consumers, and away from used car dealers who continue to knowingly sell recalled cars.

“We’re concerned that dealers are going to try to say, ‘Well, now anyone can access this, so it’s up to you to find out,’” says Rosemary Shahan, of Consumer for Auto Reliability.

Unlike most other consumer products, which can’t be sold once recalled, there’s no law preventing used car dealers from selling you a recalled car that hasn’t been fixed.

True to the stats, two of the five car owners we spoke with did have recalls, leading many to say the new NHTSA database will definitely be a part of their next used car purchase.

To reach the site, go to SaferCar.gov and click on the Search for Recalls tab. You can also find recall information on your car manufacturer’s website.

Click here to visit the Recalls Look-up by VIN page.

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