ON YOUR SIDE: Web site tracks car recall notices - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

ON YOUR SIDE: Web site tracks car recall notices

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Want to find out if your car was recalled but not fixed? A new website makes it easy to see recall notices on any car. Car companies must provide the data.

This new database is only available online. But the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says the search tool gives drivers peace of mind knowing that the vehicle that they're driving, or thinking of buying is free of safety defects.

It's not uncommon to find someone who has had a vehicle recall.

"I had a recall on my truck. I have a 2001 Silverado," said Jacob Wehner.

But getting his taillight taken care of hasn't been Wehner's top priority.

"I've had problems with it. So I think it's just more of the fact that you just don't want to have to deal with it. Just something you set aside, you don't really worry about it too much," he said.

Wehner is not alone. Roger Austin, the owner of Advanced Automotive says most drivers who come to his shop aren't even aware they have a recall.

"If we are doing a repair or diagnosing a vehicle we identify that there's an issue we suspect an recall issue on, the majority of the time we will check that for them," Austin said. "The average consumer doesn't know where to check for recalls or how to find out if their car even fits that recall that they have been sent in the mail."
  
 But the NHTSA just made it a whole  little easier. Just go to: www.safercar.gov/vinlookup and type in your vehicle identification number (VIN.) The search tool will bring up all known recalls on your ride.

Austin says this is a tool he hopes drivers use.

"In our industry, in any industry for that matter, an educated consumer makes a good consumer," he said.

That's true especially when it comes to keeping yourself and other drivers safe on the road.

"Our car is our number one safety item. Our family is transported in that; our wives and children and husbands. That being said it's our responsibility to keep our vehicle not just for us but for all the other people on the road also," Austin said.

Regulators will not be able to track who checked the recall status of a vehicle, and the web site doesn't gather any personal information. Used car dealers can also use this new database to look up the recall status on a trade-in and decide not to take it if the car hasn't been repaired.

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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