NHTSA, Maryland To Remind You to Get Your Defective Recalled Car Fixed, Already
In general, it seems that we Americans aren’t all that good at getting our defective, recalled vehicles fixed, even in the Era of Big Recall when issues include such problems as shrapnel-throwing airbags—the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that, on average, only 70% of recalled vehicles are actually repaired, making improving that percentage a priority for the agency.
As such, US Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao and the NHTSA announced that they would be giving a Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act grant of $222,300 to the Maryland Department of Transportation for a two-year recall information pilot program.
Basically, the program Maryland would put into place would provide open recall information to vehicle owners at the point of vehicle registration, with a brief description of the defect, exactly what the recall is, and a firm warning that the owner needs to get the recall done immediately. After two years, Maryland will then report the effect the program had on recall follow-through.
This is the first such grant to be awarded under the FAST Act, which earmarked $305 billion from fiscal years 2016 to 2020 for programs spanning America’s transportation infrastructure, including motor vehicle safety, public transportation, research, technology, statistical studies, and other uses. As for the recall program, the FAST Act provides grants for up to six states to notify consumers of open recalls at the time of registration, although Maryland has so far been the only state to apply for it.
Of course, if you aren’t in Maryland or aren’t registering your vehicle right now, you can (and should) double-check whether there are any open recalls on your vehicle by checking your VIN number at the NHTSA website.