Car recalls are easier to track through NHTSA's new SaferCar app

1 in 4 vehicles have an unrepaired recall

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched a new app called SaferCar, intended to help drivers know how safe their vehicles are. According to the NHTSA, 1 in 4 vehicles have an unrepaired recall; the app should be a better way to inform consumers about problems with their vehicles. And the information provided goes beyond just the actual vehicle.

Items monitored in the app range from cars to trailers to motor scooters, and tires to baby seats to car fans. Available for free on the Google Play Store and the Apple Store, SaferCar notifies users of any recalls, investigations or complaints for vehicles and items that users put on their list. When a recall is announced, the app has a summary of the recall, what the risk is and how to resolve the issue. According to the NHTSA, all remedies to recalls are provided free of charge for the users. To help you navigate the new app, here are four tips for how to use it:

  1. Add all of your vehicles and items related to your vehicle that you can. The app has an immense volume of items and vehicles. Vehicles go as far back in time as a Volkswagen from 1949, so your car, trailer, motorbike and more should be included. Items can range from child seats to trailer hitches, so it’s likely that if you bought something to put in or on your vehicle, it should be included. Last year, there were 53 million recalls on vehicles, child seats and other equipment.

  2. Check the app before you buy. You don’t have to actually own a product to check for recalls on it. Before you buy something, check the app to see whether there could be any problems first. That way, you can change your choice or talk to the seller to make sure the issue is solved before buying. You can also find out about any recalls by going to the NHTSA website: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls

  3. When making repairs or modifications, look up the items before buying. The app includes axle systems, fans, brakes and more. If you make any repairs or modifications, the SaferCar app monitors equipment or parts that you can put on your car.

  4. After you're alerted to a recall and an issue has been fixed, you can check it off. Make sure that you mark fixed problems as “resolved,” so you know what you still have issues with. Once you do that, the item will have a green check mark on the main screen of the app. Anything with recalls has a red exclamation mark.

The NHTSA says it ensures all information uploaded to the stays on your phone, so what you own and are monitoring will not be shared anywhere. 

For more information, go to https://www.nhtsa.gov/safercar-app