The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has introduced an online research capability intended to grant owners and would-be owners easy access to the current status of recalls on virtually any vehicle sold here within the last 15 years. To use the new NHTSA tool - which can be found at www.safercar.gov/vinlookup -- one merely types in the individual VIN (Vehicle Information Number) and submits it to scrutiny by a database that contains information for all major light vehicle and motorcycle brands. Details of any potential safety issues will appear after the search concludes, and if there are none, the data box will indicate "No Open Recalls."
To ensure maximum effectiveness of this new NHTSA tool, all major light vehicle and motorcycle manufacturers are being required to provide VIN search capability for uncompleted recalls on their own websites and to update that information on a weekly basis. Although extremely comprehensive, NHTSA does note that its new tool does not cover a "recalls conducted by small vehicle manufacturers, including some ultra-luxury brands and specialty applications," recalls over 15 years old or very recent recalls that may have certain VIN numbers still pending.
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