October 07, 2021 Press Release

Recall Search Tool Surpasses 1 Billion Vehicles Checked For Open Safety Recalls

Joint Effort Between CARFAX and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation Helps State Governments and Businesses Improve Vehicle and Road Safety

CENTREVILLE, VA. (Oct. 7, 2021) – A major milestone in the ongoing effort to keep car owners and shoppers safe has been reached. More than 1 billion vehicle checks for unfixed safety recalls have been processed through the Vehicle Recall Search Service (VRSS), the auto industry’s groundbreaking collaboration with CARFAX. An increasing number of state governments and businesses have been using VRSS since its March 2018 launch to identify open recalls on thousands of vehicles at one time. The innovative free tool lets users inform consumers when their vehicle has an open recall that needs to be addressed. Consumers can then get the covered repair fixed free of charge.

“This great milestone underscores our growing partnership with the Alliance for Automotive Innovation toward our shared goal of increasing public safety,” said Dick Raines, CEO of CARFAX. “For more than two decades, CARFAX has never wavered in our commitment to alerting people about open recalls. Combined with the additional recall resources we provide to consumers and CARFAX Advantage dealers, our data indicates more recalled cars are getting fixed.”

“The industry strongly supports efforts to increase recall completion rates. That’s why we were pleased to join CARFAX in working together to advance recall awareness,” said John Bozzella, president and CEO of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation. “As automakers, we understand the importance of recall notification. And we encourage all eligible entities to use our free batch VIN database. The VRSS is a key component in the extensive efforts individual automakers already make to help inform the public of open recalls.”

Approved users of VRSS include commercial and government entities such as state departments of motor vehicles (DMVs), auto insurers, ride sharing firms, rental car companies, automotive dealers, vehicle fleets, and finance companies. More information on the program can be found here.

Repairing a recalled vehicle could save someone’s life,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, acting administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “But you have to know about a recall before you can fix it. This tool allows fleet vehicle owners and other entities to make safety a priority.”

Today, five states serving nearly 70 million drivers – Texas launched just last month – have registered to use the tool to notify consumers directly that their vehicle has an open recall. California, New York and Texas check for open recalls using the VRSS during the routine vehicle-inspection process. Ohio and Maryland use the service during the vehicle-registration process. To date, these states have identified 11.1 million open recalls for consumers. Overall, more than 39% of vehicles on U.S. roads have been run through the VRSS.

Officials from some of the states involved say VRSS helps them better serve their constituents.

“As we strive for zero fatalities on our roadways in Maryland, resolving vehicle safety recalls remains a priority,” said Chrissy Nizer, Administrator of the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration. “Here in Maryland, we are proud to be doing our part to notify drivers of open recalls on their vehicles as part of the vehicle registration process.” 

“The safety of Ohioans is our top priority,” said Charlie Norman, Registrar for the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). “The BMV’s public-private partnership with the Alliance for Automotive Innovation and Carfax is an innovative way to proactively alert motorists to potential vehicle safety issues, which will ultimately keep Ohio’s roadways safer.”

The CARFAX VRSS helps ongoing efforts by automakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to inform the public about open safety recalls. To learn more about the recall search tool and apply for access, visit www.vehiclerecallsearchservice.org.