CHARLESTON, WV, (WVNS)  — In 2021, there were 1,093 safety recalls affecting more than 34 million vehicles and other automotive equipment in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

These are some of the highest recall numbers on record.

To help keep drivers aware of recalls affecting their vehicles, the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) is joining the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in using the start and end of Daylight Savings Time as a reminder for vehicle owners to check their Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) for open safety recalls.

This can easily be done using NHTSA’s user-friendly VIN Look-Up Tool. This free web tool allows vehicle owners to check for open safety recalls on their vehicles or automotive equipment such as tires and car seats.

“Checking for recalls is easy and relatively quick. NHTSA has an app that you can use to search for recalls using your vehicle’s VIN. You can receive notifications of any recalls on your vehicle. We want everyone to know that every safety recall needs to be repaired—and the repairs are free.”

Bob Tipton, GHSP Director

An urgent air bag recall is still ongoing, currently the largest vehicle recall in U.S. history. Check to see if your vehicle is included in the recall. The GHSP and NTSA are both encouraging staying up to date on vehicle-related recalls through these simple tips.

Checking Your VIN

Checking your VIN is simple: The 17-digit number is located on the lower portion of your car’s windshield on the driver’s side. It may also be on your car’s registration card, or on your insurance card. Enter this number into the search bar at NHTSA.gov/Recalls and, in seconds, you’ll know if your vehicle is subject to an open safety recall.

When your vehicle is affected by a safety recall, contact your local dealer to schedule a recall repair as soon as possible. All recall repairs at a local dealership are free. This tool also provides details on any unrepaired recall in your vehicle for at least 15 years.

Staying Ahead of Recalls

Once you’ve checked your VIN for an open recall you can sign up for Recall Alerts. If your vehicle is included in a future recall, you’ll receive an email alert letting you know. Downloading an app like NHTSA’s updated SaferCar app to stay informed about your vehicle. Once in the app, enter your vehicle’s VIN, and NHTSA will send you an alert if a safety recall is issued on them. Once you download the app, which is available for iOS and Android, you can add any vehicle or related equipment, like tires, trailers, and car seats. SaferCar notifies you of all related recalls, even directing you to local dealerships, so you can quickly make an appointment and get it fixed for free.

“When we change our clocks when Daylight Saving Time begins or ends, we check our smoke detectors to make sure they’re working properly. This is a great time to check for recalls on your vehicles, too.”

Bob Tipton, GHSP Director

Take Recalls Seriously

Although last year’s recalls affected millions of vehicles, tires, car seats, and other equipment, people’s cars still go unrepaired every year. This puts drivers, passengers, and other road users at risk.

“Ignoring a recall notice or failing to check your VIN for recalls could end in disaster. Protect yourself and loved ones by checking today.”

Bob Tipton, GHSP Director

If you think your vehicle may have a safety-related defect that isn’t part of a current recall, contact NHTSA online or by calling the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236. Sometimes just one complaint is enough to trigger a safety recall.

For more information on NHTSA’s Vehicle Recalls, visit NHTSA.gov/Recalls.

For more information about the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program, visit highwaysafety.wv.gov or call 304-926-2509.