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How to check for vehicle recalls

More than 47 million vehicles in the United States have at least one open recall, according to a CARFAX study. That means one in five vehicles is on the road with what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration considers an unreasonable safety risk. 


Protect yourself and your passengers by making sure your vehicle isn’t one of them:

  • Find out if your vehicle has an open safety recalling by visiting safercar.gov. Click on the yellow button labeled “Search for Recalls by VIN.” Enter your Vehicle Identification Number and click “Submit.” The website will show you any open recalls your vehicle has.
  • You can find your 17-digit VIN on the lower left of your car’s windshield, or inside the door post where the driver’s side door latches. Your VIN is also located on your car’s registration card, and it may be shown on your insurance card. 
  • Run the information for your vehicle through the website at least twice a year. Some risks aren’t identified until years after a car has rolled off the line. Periodic checking allows you to take care of any problems quickly and avoid unnecessary risks.


There are three recall status types that might display after you look up your car:

  • Recall INCOMPLETE. This means that an open recall was found on the car and you should follow the remedy instructions.
  • Recall INCOMPLETE. Remedy Not Yet Available. This means that an issue was identified, but the manufacturer is not yet ready to provide the fix.
  • Number of Open Recalls: 0. This means that either you have no recalls associated with your car or, if you entered your VIN, that your car has already been fixed.


If your car has an open recall, contact a dealer as soon as possible. The dealer is required to fix the recalled portion of your car for free. Unresolved recalls can lead to serious safety risks.


For more information, talk to a AAA Insurance agent or visit your local branch office.