The National Safety Council and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have collaborated on a new website that allows consumers to check if their vehicle has an open recall, such as those involving airbags made by now-bankrupt Takata Corp.
It’s estimated that just 35% of vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags have been repairs, but the consequences can be catastrophic for not getting the vehicle fixed. The defective inflators have been traced to 16 deaths and 180 injuries.
The “Check To Protect” campaign allows users to enter their vehicle’s 17-digit vehicle identification number – found in the lower left corner of the car windshield or on the inside of the driver side door – at www.checktoprotect.org to obtain a full recall status report on any open recalls for that specific vehicle.
The federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration now estimates more than 53 million vehicles – one in four – in operation in the U.S. currently have unresolved safety recall issues.
(Takata declares bankruptcy, assets sold to Key Safety Systems. For the story, Click Here.)
“Vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States,” NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman said in a statement.
“When vehicles are in top form, they reduce critical risks. Unfortunately, too many drivers are complacent when it comes to recalls, or they are unsure whether their car is subject to one. Check To Protect should help close that knowledge gap and, by extension, make our roads safer.”
She also noted that cars that haven’t been fixed through the recall pose a potentially significant risk for drivers and passengers.
(Not all airbag recalls involve Takata. Click Here for more.)
FCA officials said the Check to Protect campaign, which the automaker hopes other manufacturers will help promote, will focus on drivers of vehicles that are five or more years old. The recall compliance completion rate for older vehicles is pegged at 44% currently, compared to 83% for newer vehicles.
The difference is attributed to the fact that drivers of older or used vehicles are more difficult to reach through the established recall notification process, an FCA spokeswoman noted. In a survey last November, only about one third of the owners of older vehicles reported receiving a recall notice.
The Check To Protect campaign will utilize an existing NHTSA data base that is now available. In addition, the campaign will also emphasize the risks unresolved recalls can pose to families.
(GM settles 200 ignition switch lawsuits. Click Here for the latest.)
The new website is just one place where vehicle owners can check to see if their vehicles are subject to recall. All of the automakers offer a spot on their website to allow you to check for recalls for that brand. Additionally, NHTSA also makes that service available on its website as well.