Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) online and enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) to see if your car has had any recalls. You can also search recalls on car seats, tires and other vehicle equipment (such as air bags). To get notified of future recalls that impact you, sign up for email alerts.
The NHTSA recall site is also helpful if you’re buying a used car—it’s important to check the car’s recall history to be sure that all the problems have been addressed.
Fix the problem—for free
If you get a car recall notice or discover that you have an unresolved recall, follow any interim safety guidance provided by the manufacturer and contact the dealer immediately. The car manufacturer has three options for correcting the problem: They can repair parts, replace them or give you a refund if you fixed the issue before the car was recalled. The recall should never cost you any money—unless your vehicle is more than 15 years old.
Sometimes, your problem may not be fixed right away. If the repair is part of a major recall and parts are in high demand, for example, the dealership will notify you when the parts are in stock and they can fix your car.