DOT unveils automatic vehicle safety recall notification service

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Vehicle owners across the nation can be informed instantly of a safety recall under a new automated alert system announced Friday, Nov. 7, by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The recall alerts can be received via e-mail or RSS-feeds on personal computers, cell phones or PDA devices – automatically and free of charge. Consumers can elect to receive all vehicle recalls as they are made public, or personalize the alerts to specific vehicles.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are about 600 vehicle recalls each year. Historically, one in four motorists ignore these recalls when they are announced. “It is extremely important that people are aware of recalls and act quickly to get their vehicles repaired,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters. “When it comes down to it, ignoring a recall means ignoring a safety defect that could put you and your family at risk.”

Acting NHTSA Administrator David Kelly says the new vehicle recall notification system is an expansion of the agency’s consumer safety communications program; earlier this year, NHTSA also introduced automated recall alerts for child safety seats and tires. “I urge everyone to visit the website and sign up for all three recall alert programs,” Kelly says. “In these cases, information is not just power – it can save your life and the lives of your family and loved ones.”