WASHINGTON — Consumers who are reeling from the ongoing Takata airbag recall crisis and the aftermath of the General Motors ignition-switch recall are getting a little help from federal safety regulators.
A new YouTube video explaining how recalls work was released Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"When your vehicle poses a safety risk, that's when we can help," said an accompanying text. "Vehicle recalls are just part of what we do to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road. But how will you know if your car has been recalled? This new consumer video explains the recall process, how you will be notified, and what tools are available to you."
The one-minute video helps consumers understand the recall process, including how to find out if their vehicle is recalled and how to sign up to receive recall alerts.
It tells consumers that their dealers can provide free repairs in the event of a safety recall. This is the fourth video in NHTSA's "Driven By Safety" series.
NHTSA has been scrambling to be more consumer-friendly after coming under fire for its handling of high-profile vehicle recalls.
A September 2014 report by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee detailed NHTSA's failures in the wake of the General Motors ignition-switch recall.
"It is tragic that the evidence was staring NHTSA in the face and the agency didn't identify the warnings," wrote Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). "NHTSA exists not just to process what the company finds, but to dig deeper. They failed. We'll keep looking for answers, and keep working toward solutions — whether it means changing our laws or pressing for change at the companies that follow them and the agencies that enforce them — but we know for sure that NHTSA was part of the problem and is going to have to be part of the solution."
Edmunds says: The video is a good first step toward figuring out how to be a smart owner when it comes to vehicle recalls.