Car and Motor Vehicle Recalls: Resources
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed December 03, 2018
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Recalls within the automobile industry are fairly common, although only a small percentage of vehicle defects result in serious injuries or deaths. Nevertheless, staying informed about a potential defect can mean the difference between life and death. If you receive a recall notification from your manufacturer or dealer, make sure to take care of the issue as soon as possible.
If you have reason to believe your automobile has a serious defect, file an official complaint with the NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI).
How to Search for Recall Information
For the latest car and motor vehicle recalls (including child safety seats, tires, and other accessories), visit the Safety Recalls portal maintained by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Its database of recalls covers recalls from 1966 to present, including motor vehicle-related consumer products, such as child safety seats, tires, and other products designed to be used with automobiles.
The NHTSA provides recall searches within the following automobile-related categories:
- Motor Vehicle Recalls - Search by make, model, year
- Motor Vehicle Equipment Recalls Search by equipment producer or model
- Tire Recalls
- Monthly Recall Reports - Summary of the most important recalls in a given month
- School Bus Recalls - Listing of all school bus recalls from 1997 to present (updated annually)
Additionally, you can subscribe to NHTSA's Recall Notification Email System. Consumers can select recall notifications about automobiles, tires, child safety seats, motorcycles, helmets, and/or school buses. You can even specify the make and model of up to four vehicles when setting notification preferences.
Additional Recall Sources from the U.S. Government
The following resources provide additional recall information:
- Child Seat Safety Recall Campaign Listing - Lists safety recalls for independent child and booster seat manufacturers and safety recalls of motor vehicles with integral child seats.
- VIN Search - From the Office of Defects Investigation. Search by Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to find out if your recalled automobile has been fixed.
- Defects Investigation Database - From the Office of Defects Investigation. Search for defects investigations involving vehicles, equipment, child safety seats and tires.
- Safety Technology - From NHTSA. Information about the latest automobile safety technologies, such as land departure warning.
- NHTSA's Car Safety Ratings - NHTSA's list of the most highly rated automobiles for safety.
- Parents Central - Information and resources for parents from the NHTSA to help you keep your children safe while traveling by automobile
When a Product Defect Causes Injuries: How to Get Legal Help
When your car or truck is recalled, the dealer and/or manufacturer will fix the problem free of charge or provide a refund. But if you have suffered injuries from a defective automobile, you may be entitled to compensation. The manufacturer may be held liable for any hospital bills, lost wages, suffering, or other expenses related to the injury. Contact an experienced lawyer for a consultation.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.