GLEN BURNIE, MD (March 8, 2021) –There are currently more than 55 million vehicles on the road nationwide with a potentially life-threatening safety defect, many of them the subject of safety recalls. These types of safety issues often go undetected and pose a serious threat to all road users. To support Maryland’s goal to reach zero fatalities on our roadways and raise awareness, Governor Larry Hogan has proclaimed March 8 through March 12 Vehicle Safety Recalls Week in Maryland. In accordance with the proclamation, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) is sharing guidance on how customers can ensure their vehicle is as safe as possible.
“Thousands of people drive on our roadways every day and we are committed to ensuring all Marylanders are aware of this critical safety information,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “Routinely checking your vehicles of open recalls is essential to protect yourself and others from a preventable tragedy.”
In 2018, Maryland became the first state in the nation to inform drivers of open vehicle safety recalls through registration renewal notices. The two-year pilot program, made possible by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), resulted in resolving more than 375,000 vehicle recalls in Maryland. With the success of these efforts, the MDOT MVA decided to continue notifying customers of open recalls on an ongoing basis. MDOT MVA, NHTSA, and the National Safety Council (NSC) encourage drivers to take action on vehicle safety recalls: Ways to do this include:
Check Your VIN
Customers can check open recalls at any time by contacting an authorized dealership or by using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) look-up tools through the NSC at checktoprotect.org or through NHTSA at nhtsa.gov/recalls. The 17-character VIN can be found in several locations including the driver’s side dashboard, inside the driver’s door, and on the registration of insurance card. Marylanders are also reminded to check for recalls for vehicle related equipment such as tires and car seats. Brand name and model searches can be conducted here.
Monitor for recalls
Manufacturers are responsible for notifying owners of open recalls. However, older vehicles are more likely to have changed ownership, making it difficult to inform new owners of recalls. Marylanders can sign up for recall alerts from NHTSA here. Once registered, you will receive an email alert if your vehicle is included in a future recall.
If you discover a safety recall, repair it immediately
Do not wait! It is free to check and repair an open safety recall at an authorized dealer. The delaying repair can be dangerous for you and other drivers. MDOT MVA’s pilot recall notice program determined that the most common vehicle recalls in Maryland are related to airbags, seat belts, and electrical systems, which are all critical safety issues. In December, MDOT MVA sent additional correspondence to vehicle owners with outstanding Takata airbag recalls urging customers to take immediate action.
“Every safety recall matters. Unresolved defects put drivers, passengers and others on the road at risk,” MDOT Secretary Greg Slater said. “This week is the perfect time to remind drivers to check their vehicle for critical recalls and I applaud Governor Hogan for bringing this safety issue to the forefront for all Marylanders.”
Any customer who thinks they may have a safety-related defect that is not part of a current recall should contact NHTSA online or by calling the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236.