New online search tool from NHTSA could help credit challenged consumers

Recall Information for Car Buyers

Auto Recalls and Bad Credit

Here at Auto Credit Express we realize that most car buyers with bad credit will choose to finance a dependable, low- mileage used car – which makes the new online offering from the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) such a valuable tool.

NHTSA Free Online Tool

Unless you've been living in a cave the last eight months you're probably familiar with the spate of recalls issued by General Motors this year. But vehicle recalls aren't limited to just those from GM. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), "Every year, millions of vehicles are recalled in the United States due to safety defects or noncompliance with federal safety standards."

With the majority of credit challenged consumers choosing to finance a used car with bad credit, the ability to find out if a particular vehicle they're considering has an open recall (that is, with a problem that hasn't been fixed) is a big advantage.

Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made the following announcement:

To help car buyers, owners and renters know that their vehicles are safe and their safety defects have been address, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today unveiled a new, free, online search tool consumers can use to find out if a vehicle is directly impacted by a recall.

How You Can Check Your Car For Recalls

To use the new tool and find out if a vehicle has any uncompleted recalls, buyers need to go to this website - - and enter the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number – most commonly found on the dashboard on the driver's side of the vehicle). Once the information is entered, the results will appear if there is an open recall or, if there are none, the words "No Open Recalls" will show.

But wait, there's more good news.

Effective August 20th, the NHTSA now requires all major light vehicle and motorcycle manufacturers to provide VINsearch capability, on their web sites, for any uncompleted recalls and recall the data at least weekly. The agency is also working with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) to help ensure that franchised new car dealerships in the U.S. also know of and how to use the new VIN search tool.

Using this information, car buyers will be able to check ahead of time if the vehicle they are considering on a bad credit car dealers lot is properly maintained before they agree to buy.

The Bottom Line

The new tool introduced on the NHTSA web site should help both car buyers and owners, including those with less than perfect credit, by ensuring the vehicles they drive or plan on purchasing are as safe as possible and subject to no open recalls.