The U.S. Department of Transportation has launched a new public service campaign urging car owners to check twice a year for recalls and to have any outstanding issues fixed as soon as parts are available. Called “Safe Cars Save Lives,” the campaign is designed to build awareness around the tools available to consumers to determine whether or not their vehicles have been recalled and to have those problems resolved in a timely manner.

“An informed consumer is one of our strongest allies in ensuring recalled vehicles are repaired,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Recalls are a serious safety issue that should be promptly addressed. If the parts are in and your car is under recall, do not wait to act. Do it for your family, do it for your loved ones, do it for yourself.”

The program emphasizes that acting on a recall can save a life and instructs car owners to get into the habit of checking for recalls at least twice a year. Information on recalls can be accessed through using a new VIN look-up tool developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA).

Last year, there were close to 900 recalls affecting 51 million vehicles nationally. According to government figures, each year an average of 25 percent of recalled vehicles are left unrepaired. The safety agency is seeking additional ways to notify vehicle owners, purchasers and dealers of safety-related defects and noncompliance.

“Boosting repair rates require effective communication at every level and every step of the way,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “We’re interested in what the public has to say about recall notifications and today we issued a proposal to get their input. Success is getting a 100 percent completion rate for every single recall.”


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