Use Daylight Saving's Start to Check for Vehicle Recalls, NHTSA Urges

During 2018, there were more than 900 vehicle recalls affecting more than 33.5 million vehicles in the United States. "Every vehicle recall is serious. Yet only about 75 percent of vehicles recalled in a given year are ever fixed. That puts you, your passengers, and others on the road at risk," NHTSA noted.

When Americans "spring forward" this weekend as daylight saving time 2019 begins -- it starts Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m. -- the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is asking them also to take the moment as a cue to check for recalls on their vehicles. "Daylight saving time has long been used as a reminder to check smoke detector batteries to protect your home from fire. It's also a time to check for vehicle recalls," NHTSA pointed out in an online post. "Every vehicle recall affects the safety of your car or truck and its drivers, passengers, and others on the road. So add checking for recalls to your spring and fall to-do lists."

Manufacturers are required to notify owners of recalls and then fix their cars or trucks for free. With cars staying on the road longer and changing hands between multiple owners, however, it can be difficult to reach and inform the current owner, NHTSA noted, saying that, to be sure and safe, vehicle owners should take these three steps

  • Find your vehicle's 17-character Vehicle Identification Number, a unique code that identifies that car or truck. It is listed on the door jamb, sometimes on the dashboard, and on a car's registration or insurance documents.
  • Search using your VIN at NHTSA.gov/Recalls. Your search will tell you whether there's an open safety recall affecting your vehicle and what steps to take. You also can sign up for e-mail recall alerts at NHTSA.gov/alerts.
  • Get your vehicle repaired immediately if you have an open recall. Follow the steps indicated in your recall notice.

During 2018, there were more than 900 vehicle recalls affecting more than 33.5 million vehicles in the United States. "Every vehicle recall is serious. Yet only about 75 percent of vehicles recalled in a given year are ever fixed. That puts you, your passengers, and others on the road at risk," NHTSA noted.

Its post also pointed out that turning the clocks ahead means more sunlight in the evening during a driving commute. "You could face more sun glare, making it difficult to see the road. It also means you'll likely be operating on a little less sleep. Make sure you're taking these factors into account to ensure safe driving."

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