About Check To Protect:
Check To Protect is a national campaign to encourage drivers to check the recall status of their vehicle and have open recalls fixed immediately. It is led by the National Safety Council (NSC), along with founding coalition partner FCA US (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles). This campaign comes at a time when an unprecedented number of vehicles, 53 million, are on the road with unresolved safety recalls.i That’s more than one in four cars on the road. This poses an urgent and serious risk to drivers and passengers.
The campaign is particularly focused on drivers of older (five years old or older) and used cars because the recall compliance completion rate is only 44 percent for these vehicles, compared to 83 percent for newer vehicles.ii This may be because drivers of older and used vehicles are further removed from dealerships, and therefore may not be reached by the traditional recall notification systems.
Check To Protect aims to reinforce the significant risks unaddressed recalls can pose for families. Approximately one-third of respondents reported receiving a recall on their vehicle. However, of those respondents, four in 10 say they would wait to take in their car for repair (as opposed to getting the recall fixed immediately) and five percent say they wouldn’t take in their car at all.
There is a strong need to raise awareness of NHTSA’s online VIN lookup tool.
According to a December 2016 survey of older and used car owners, nearly 70 percent of respondents reported they would be very likely to check to see if their vehicle has an outstanding recall, and more than 70 percent said checking via a website would be their preferred method.iii However, research by the Auto Alliance (Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers) and Global Automakers found that only four in 10 respondents knew the NHTSA VIN lookup tool existed.iv
Checking a vehicle’s recall status is easy.
Drivers can enter their vehicle identification number (VIN) at checktoprotect.org or directly on NHTSA’s website for a full report of their vehicle’s recall status. The 17-digit VIN can be found in the lower left corner of a car’s windshield or on the inside of the driver-side door. It is also located on a car’s registration card and possibly on insurance documentation. Getting a recall repaired is free of charge to the vehicle owner.
Check To Protect is looking ahead for long-term solutions to recall noncompliance.
Check To Protect aims to bring together the automotive industry, traffic safety advocacy groups and federal and state government to help overcome barriers to recall compliance.
Drivers report not addressing a recall for a variety of reasons.
- They deem the recall not serious: Vehicle owners tend to make their own judgments about the severity of their recall. Respondents said they waited because the recall was not serious or concerning enough to get fixed, and some said they would wait until the recall became an issue before taking it in for repair.
- They are waiting on the automaker or dealership: Sometimes the parts needed to address a recall are not immediately available from the dealership, causing owners to delay taking their vehicle in for repair.
In July 2017, Check To Protect will launch a nation-wide advertising and outreach campaign to motivate vehicle owners to check the recall status of their vehicles and encourage them to visit a dealership for a free recall repair.
Check To Protect was launched in summer 2017 by the National Safety Council and FCA US. FCA US is providing the initial funding for Check To Protect, but coalition membership is open to all automakers and traffic safety advocacy groups in the United States.
i NHTSA Annual Recall Data ii In August 2015, The Auto Alliance and Global Automakers conducted a national online survey of 1,500 vehicle owners, including more than 1,000 owners who had received a recall in the previous 1-2 years. iii In October and November 2016, FCA conducted qualitative (focus groups) and quantitative (national online survey) research among drivers of older vehicles (5+ years) or used cars. iv In August 2015, The Auto Alliance and Global Automakers conducted a national online survey of 1,500 vehicle owners, including more than 1,000 owners who had received a recall in the previous 1-2 years. v In October and November 2016, FCA conducted qualitative (focus groups) and quantitative (national online survey) research among drivers of older vehicles (5+ years) or used cars.