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Car Recalls

Millions of cars are recalled each year due to safety and non-safety concerns. Recalls are common in the automotive industry, and most cars have been the subject of at least one recall notice. Checking your vehicle for recalls before purchasing can keep you safe on the road and prevent delays in buying and registering.

At VINsmart® , we help you make more informed purchasing decisions with our free recall checks. Using our simple, easy-to-use system, you can check for vehicle recalls by vehicle identification number (VIN) for greater buying success.

What Are Vehicle Recalls?

A recall is when a car or piece of equipment does not meet the standards issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or has a defect inside or on the vehicle's body. Any part of the car that affects driver safety during driving, such as tires, brakes, or headlights, is automatically under minimum performance standards and will be placed under a recall notice if it fails to meet the performance regulations at any time.

Vehicle recalls by the manufacturer may or may not be safety-related. A safety-related defect is an issue related to a vehicle or its components that negatively impact the overall safety of the car. Vehicles with similar designs, equipment, or manufacturers can fall under the same safety-related defect.
Common safety-related flaws can include:
  • Failure of vital vehicle components, which may cause occupants to lose control or experience an injury
  • Defective wheels that break or crack and cause a driver to lose control Unnecessary airbags
  • Wiring system issues resulting in fires or loss of lighting
  • Breakdown of cooling fans in the engine, which may place mechanics in danger
  • Defects with the seats while the car is in operation
  • A broken gas pedal or the pedal sticking in a specific position
  • Inoperable windshield wiper assemblies, reducing or obstructing the driver's view
  • Failure of steering components resulting in a partial or complete loss of vehicle control
You may also receive a recall notice for non-safety-related defects. Some vehicle components that may be eligible for a non-safety-related recall are:
  • Body panel rust, poor paint quality, and other blemishes
  • Regular wear of elements such as batteries, shocks, brake mechanisms, and exhaust systems
  • Dysfunctional radios and air conditioning components
  • Excessive oil intake

What a Recall Search Offers

Before purchasing a vehicle, it is essential to know if it is under an open recall. While you can search for vehicle recalls by make and model, that search will not tell you if any apply to the specific car you're considering. Using the VIN to identify open recalls is essential, as this number is car-specific and provides a full picture of any known issues the vehicle may have. The following are some additional benefits of searching for vehicle recalls by VIN:
  • Eliminates the need to guess features and specs: Vehicles today often come in many variants, which makes it challenging to capture all of the features and specs of your model. Using the VIN when searching for recalls will provide information such as installation dates for various equipment and other vehicle details.
  • Proving the year, make and model: Each VIN belongs to one driver at a time, enabling you to confirm the vehicle's make, year, and model for greater accuracy when searching for recall information.
  • Tied to vehicle history: Searching for open recalls by VIN shows your vehicle's history, allowing you to see every recall that may apply to your build.
free recall


What if I want to check more than one VIN?
No problem! VINsmart lets you generate reports as needed. When checking more than one VIN, you'll need to register an account with us.
Will you keep my credit card information on file?
No. We require you to enter your payment information every time you order a new report. For your convenience, however, we have a credit program. If you're running a large volume of reports, buying credits ahead of time can save you the trouble of re-entering credit card information every time.
How do VINsmart vehicle reports stand out from other options?
What sets us apart in the marketplace is that we not only give you NMVTIS specific data, but also J.D. Power and Black Book vehicle valuations. Our goal is to provide you with all the information you need to be able to determine if a particular car is a good purchase. Our reports are also handy for current car owners who want a closer look at their vehicle value.
Can I do this through a mobile app?
Yes. We have mobile applications for both iOS and Android devices. Run recalls by VIN number on your phone to save time.

Conduct a Vehicle Recall Check Now

After issuing a recall, manufacturers must take action by repairing or replacing components, refunding the driver for faulty parts, or even repurchasing the vehicle to correct the problem. Whatever the correct course of action is, as someone looking to buy a new car, you will want to know if it is under a recall notice.
With VINsmart, performing an online recall check is easy and fast. Our thorough VIN reports and vehicle valuations permit you to access a wealth of information about a vehicle, and you can purchase documents as needed or in bulk for greater savings.
To run your free recall check by VIN, enter your VIN into our system to have us compile information from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System and J.D. Power. Use VINsmart to know before you buy and make more informed purchasing decisions today!

Check VIN Now


  • NMVTIS National Motor Vehicle Title Information Systems
  • J.D. Power
  • Black Book
  • NVS - National Vehicle Service