As holiday preparations occupy the thoughts of Kentuckians, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) urges travelers to add an important task to their to-do lists to stay safe on the road: check for unrepaired vehicle recalls. By visiting www.CheckToProtect.org, drivers can conduct a free search for open recalls on their specific car using their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). A search using the vehicle’s year, make and model yields a list of potential open recalls. Authorized dealers will repair recalls for free.
Kentucky is the first state to partner with the National Safety Council to bring awareness to motorists about Check To Protect, a national campaign to encourage drivers to search the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) open recall database. More than 105,000 clicks have been made to the website since the June campaign launch. KYTC wants to see those numbers increase in Kentucky, the state with the eighth-highest open recall rate in the nation.
“Of the 4 million registered vehicles on Kentucky roadways, one in four has recall repairs that need to be addressed,” said John-Mark Hack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Vehicle Regulation. “As the pilot state partnering with the National Safety Council, Kentucky is spreading awareness of the online resource to ensure drivers stay informed. Unfortunately, there’s no warning light on a dashboard alerting drivers of recalls. Our efforts are important in encouraging drivers to take the initiative to check if the vehicle they use daily requires a free repair.”
In under two minutes, motorists can enter their VIN online at www.CheckToProtect.org for a full report on the recall status of their vehicle. The 17-digit VIN can be found in the lower left corner of a car’s windshield, on the inside of the driver-side door or on a vehicle’s registration card and possibly on insurance documents. If a recall is identified for the vehicle, drivers can call their local dealer to schedule a free repair.
Neglecting recalls could lead to costly vehicle damage and can jeopardize the safety of motorists on the road.
“Vehicle safety is a key component of highway safety,” said Dr. Noelle Hunter, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety. “The Takata air bag recall is the largest automotive recall in history, affecting 34 million vehicles. Unsuspecting motorists could be driving vehicles that pose a safety risk. Taking a few minutes to check if your vehicle needs attention makes the roads safer for everyone. With free repairs available for all open recalls, there’s no reason not to act if your vehicle needs a repair.”
Launched in June by the National Safety Council and founding coalition member, FCA US, Check To Protect focuses on informing all motorists of the online tool, particularly owners of older and used vehicles. According to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Global Automakers, the recall compliance rate for vehicles up to four years old is 83 percent; the rate decreases significantly to 44 percent for vehicles five to 10 years old. The drop in compliance is attributed to the difficultly in tracking owners of older and used vehicles. Since drivers expect to receive alerts about recalls, they do not tend to check for themselves.
“The state of Kentucky has taken a leadership role in recall awareness, and we hope other states will follow this great example,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “As the holiday travel season approaches, take a couple of minutes and check your vehicle’s recall status today. If you have an open recall, call your dealer for a free repair.”
Kentuckians can expect to see reminders to check for recalls during the awareness campaign through a range of mediums, including their local circuit court clerk’s office, social media, SAFE Patrol, rest areas and welcome centers.
For more information on Check To Protect, visit www.CheckToProtect.org.