WASHINGTON — A new video by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration helps consumers understand the importance of their car or truck's Vehicle Identification Number and whether their vehicle is subject to a safety recall.
"Your VIN: A Key to Vehicle Safety" illustrates the federal safety agency's commitment to aiding consumers in an era of record recalls.
These include the historic recall for defective Takata airbags. These airbags can explode with too much force, spewing metal fragments at vehicle occupants. The defective airbags have been linked to eight deaths and hundreds of injuries.
The VIN is a unique code made up of a 17-character mix of letters and numbers permanently assigned to your vehicle when it is built. The VIN typically is stamped under the glass on the driver's side windshield and on the driver's side door. It also can be found on insurance documents.
Once a consumer knows the VIN, it can be entered into NHTSA's VIN Lookup Tool, an easy way to check if the vehicle has been recalled. This new search tool helps consumers quickly learn if a specific vehicle has not been repaired as part of a safety recall in the last 15 years.
If the vehicle has been recalled, the next step is to contact a local dealer to get the vehicle repaired for free.
Edmunds says: This short video gives consumers the key to understanding their VIN. Your dealership can also help you determine if you vehicle is subject to a safety recall.