How to Check Car Recalls by VIN

Using a VIN lookup for a car recall is a simple task, once you know how to do it. Read here to learn how to check car recalls by VIN .
Written by Nicholas Wilson
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
Vehicle recalls are issued when there is something wrong with a car that needs to be addressed. You can use your VIN to find the recalls for you make and model of vehicle online.
With all the various makes and models out there, it can be hard to keep up all the information that could be relevant to you and your family, especially if you have more than one car.
Luckily, there is a way to use a
VIN lookup
for a car recall, simplifying the amount of information you need to sift through and giving you a much quicker way to check for recalls. Read on to learn more, with a little help from
car insurance
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What is a recall on a car?

Basically, a car recall the manufacturer of a car discovers that some part or series of parts or a system or anything in between is malfunctioning seriously enough on the car in a recognizable pattern. The manufacturer then issues a recall, effectively letting car owners and others know that this issue exists and concrete steps need to be taken to resolve it.
In many instances, the manufacturers will resolve the issue for you without any cost to you. They may do the repair for you, issue a refund for the amount the repair might cost you at your
local mechanic
, or some other step to make amends for the problem.

How do you use a VIN lookup to check a car recall?

Step 1: Understanding your car’s VIN.
The VIN on your car, which is generally found on a panel beneath the driver’s side windshield, is your car’s unique identification. Only your car has this VIN, and it serves as a record of your car’s history, including details on services and other similar items.
The VIN is stored in a number of places, and since the manufacturer has a record of VINs, the manufacturer can apply the recalls to all relevant VINs for ease of reference.
Basically, the manufacturer issues a recall on some component of the 2014 Toyota Camry, for example, and all VINs associated with that year, make, and model are stored in a database, so that car owner’s can tell if their individual car is affected.
Step 2: Find an online tool. You need to use an online search tool that will give you some results on your VIN. has a
VIN recall lookup tool
which allows you to type your VIN in and returns data specialized for your car. The NHTSA is associated with this site, so you can have confidence in the results.
You can take a look at the available manufacturer’s on the bottom of the page to determine if your car is in their database.
Step 3: Type your VIN in. Once you have gotten to the page, you can enter your VIN into the search bar and click the button indicating that you are not a robot.
Step 4: View your results. Finally, you’ll receive a listing or an indication that there are services which you have not completed associated with a safety recall.
The wonderful part of this tool is that because your car’s VIN number is specific to your car, you can get accurate information about what services you need to have. The only exception is that if there have been very recent safety recalls, then the VINs may not be connected to the recall.
The best advice is to check back often to see if there are any services you need.
Using a VIN lookup for a car recall is a straightforward way to determine if the car you are driving is as safe as it can be. Checking for outstanding recalls on your vehicle is an easy way to protect your car, yourself, and all of your passengers from potential hazards.
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Yes, typically, recalls a free. Check with your manufacturer about your specific recall–they may perform the necessary repairs or parts replacement for free, or they might reimburse you for the cost elsewhere.
Car recalls don't expire. However, they are only eligible for "reasonable periods." This means that you may not get a recall repair if you wait too long and the necessary parts for repair have run out, the manufacturer runs out of business, or something else happens that prevents you from getting your repairs done.
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