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You Need This Number When Shopping For Used Cars

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There’s no questioning that recall notices seem to be piling up in the automotive world, for things as simple as abnormal rust to things as drastic as faulty airbags. When you purchase a new car, there are rules and laws to protect consumers and make sure that the vehicle they drive home is as safe as possible. If you’re buying used, however, what can be done to protect yourself?

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If you will be hitting dealership lots or newspaper listings looking for your latest ride, keep this phone number handy: 1-888-327-4236. This is the Auto Safety Hotline for the National Highway Traffic Safety Information, or NHTSA. When considering buying a vehicle, call this number with the VIN number of the vehicle to learn if there are any open recalls for this vehicle. If all repairs have been made, it won’t show up on the record. If you have a smartphone with a good data plan, you can also visit the NHTSA’s online tool here to search for a car’s VIN and get the same answers.

The issue of open recalls on used cars is being brought back to the spotlight by the Takata airbag recall. According to The New York Times, a woman in California bought a used Honda vehicle from a private seller. The automaker had contacted previous owners of the vehicle to find who owned it, and after finding the current driver it tried reaching out to her, but it was too late. The car’s new owner was involved in a minor accident, but the faulty airbag made it turn fatal.

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Used cars are still a good option when shopping for a vehicle; just make sure you do your homework before signing any paperwork.

News Source: The New York Times