GLEN BURNIE, MD (March 7, 2022) – Safe Cars Save Lives. That’s the message the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) is highlighting after Governor Larry Hogan proclaimed this week as Vehicle Safety Recalls Week in Maryland. Beginning today, March 7, and continuing through Sunday, March 13, MDOT MVA is encouraging Marylanders to check their vehicles and automotive equipment for open recalls. Repairing those recalls is free and easy.
“Many factors go into keeping Maryland roadways safe. Good driver behavior is critical, of course, but it’s also important that our vehicles are safe and well-maintained,” said Governor Hogan. “During Vehicle Safety Recalls Week, I urge Marylanders to check their vehicle status for any open recalls, and get them resolved as soon as possible to keep themselves, their families and their fellow travelers safe.”
In 2018, Maryland became one of the first states in the nation to inform drivers of open vehicle safety recalls through registration renewal notices, which are sent to vehicle owners every two years. Any open recalls are printed at the bottom of a driver’s registration renewal notice sent via mail and email about 60 days before a registration period ends. Though the program ended in 2020, MDOT MVA has continued the recall notification service indefinitely due to its success.
“The most common vehicle recalls we see repaired in Maryland after receiving our vehicle recall notices are related to airbags, seat belts and electrical systems, which are all critical safety issues,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “Each recall that is resolved reduces the risk of a crash, and we all have a responsibility to Be the Driver Who Saves Lives by ensuring our vehicles are safe for the road.”
In 2021, more than 900 safety recalls were administered affecting 22.8 million vehicles, but each year millions of recalled vehicles go unrepaired and unaddressed, putting drivers, passengers and other road users at risk.
“We are dedicated to reaching zero fatalities in Maryland, and one of the important issues facing Maryland drivers today is safety recalls that go unchecked and unresolved,” said MDOT Secretary James F. Ports Jr. “Governor Hogan’s proclamation of Vehicle Safety Recalls Week gives us an opportunity to remind Marylanders of the many ways they can check their vehicle and equipment for recalls – and remind them that repairs are free.”
MDOT MVA, in partnership with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), is sharing guidance on how customers can easily check for open recalls throughout the year. In addition to the notices sent with MDOT MVA registration renewals, there are several ways customers can check for open recalls, including:
Use Your VIN to Check for Recalls
Checking your VIN is easy: The 17-digit number is located on the lower portion of your car’s windshield on the driver’s side. It may also be on your car’s registration card, or on your insurance card. Enter this number into the search bar at NHTSA.gov/recalls and, in seconds, you'll know if your vehicle is subject to an open safety recall.
Sign up for Alerts or Download the SaferCar App
Once you’ve checked your VIN for an open recall, sign up for Recall Alerts. If your vehicle is included in a future recall, you’ll receive an email letting you know. You can also download NHTSA’s updated SaferCar app to stay informed about your vehicle. Once in the app, enter the vehicle’s VIN, as well as your car seats, tires or any other automotive equipment information, and NHTSA will send you an alert if a safety recall is issued on them.
If you discover a safety recall, repair it immediately
If your vehicle is affected by a safety recall, contact your local dealer to schedule a recall repair as soon as possible. All recall repairs at your local dealership are free.
Any customer who thinks they may have a safety-related defect that is not part of a current recall should contact NHTSA online or call the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236.