How to Check if Your Vehicle is Part of a Recall

Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) places thousands of vehicles under recall in order to fix a defect or common mechanical malfunction caused by the manufacturer. The problem is many of the drivers who need to receive recall notices never get them.

This is because the NHTSA only requires manufacturers to issue recalls to car owners through the mail. However, if these drivers move or there is a problem with the address they gave to the dealership, then their recall notice never arrives.

Currently the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a new policy that will allow drivers to receive recall alerts electronically, through emails or text messages.

However, until that happens, many drivers are left wondering how to check if their vehicle is under a recall. Fortunately, you do not have to wait for a paper notice in the mailbox anymore.

Use Your VIN Number to Check if Your Car is Under Recall 

Websites like and now exist to help drivers check whether their current vehicle is under recall.  All you need to have is your car’s VIN number for or the make, model, and year for

While VIN numbers for early manufactured cars vary, vehicles manufactured since 1981 have VIN’s made up of 17 unique letters and numbers.

The VIN is an ID of sorts and is used to provide information about the specific vehicle that it relates to.

Inputting your car’s VIN into a recall site can let you know if you need to take your vehicle into a dealership or auto body shop to have necessary maintenance.

How to Find Your Car’s VIN 

You can find your vehicle’s VIN number by first checking any documentation related to the car itself, such as:

  • The title
  • A registration card
  • Insurance paperwork
  • The owner’s manual
  • Past repair records

The VIN can also be found on the body of your vehicle as well, although the exact placement can vary depending of the type of vehicle you have.

Typically, you can find the VIN on the lower-left corner of your dashboard, visible through your windshield, although it might also be:

  • Under your spare tire
  • Under the hood at the front of the engine
  • On the driver-side doorpost

Once you have found the VIN for your car, you can easily determine whether or not the NHTSA has issued a recall without waiting for a snail mail notice to arrive at your door.

What to Do If NHTSA Has Issued a Recall 

If you have learned that your car is under recall, contact a nearby dealership to schedule a time to take your car in for a free repair.

If this defect causes you to be in an accident, regardless of whether or not there is no issued recall, the legal team at Bressman Law can get you the help and compensation you need for your injuries and any damage done to your vehicle.

Give us a call today at 877-538-1116 to schedule a consultation.