Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) oversaw nearly 900 vehicle safety recalls affecting 51 million U.S. cars. Many recalled cars must be fixed to eliminate or mitigate the safety concern.
So, for the recall system work, the consumer must, first, know that the vehicle is the subject of a recall. (The consumer should be sent a recall notice, but that doesn't always work as planned because the consumer cannot be found or for some other reason.) In addition, the vehicle manufacturer must have and distribute to dealers the parts needed to fix the vehicle, and the consumer must take the vehicle in for repair.
To help consumers navigate this system and optimize safety, NHTSA recommends that consumers check its recall database twice a year to see if their cars are subject to a recall and if the fix is ready to be implemented. Go here, to get all the details on NHTSA's Safe Cars Save Lives" campaign.