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New tool makes it easy for drivers to check for recalls

How to check for personalized recalls
How to check for personalized recalls 02:56

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- From car windows to melting engines and faulty car seats, we hear about safety recalls every single day. But now there's a one-stop shop to make sure you can get safety information tailored just for you and your kids.

KDKA-TV Consumer Investigator Meghan Schiller explains how you can check for personalized recalls in one place.

"It really just makes it easier to go to the NHTSA website and see if they have any open recalls on their vehicle, which is really important," said Michael Brooks, the executive director of the Center for Auto Safety.

You can ditch the 17-character VIN number too. Brooks says all you'll need is your license plate. Here's how: 

  1. Visit
  2. Pick Pennsylvania on the drop-down menu
  3. Type in your license plate to search for recalls

"It also allows them to check for complaints about that model vehicle, investigations that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration might be conducting, and also very importantly, it provides manufacture communications from the manufacturer to the dealers," said Brooks.

Brooks said consumers should know about service bulletins or extended warranty notices, and especially need to know about lesser-known recalls that only impact a specific group.

"One, 10, you know, smaller numbers of vehicles involved in a recall, and the only way for an individual owner to know is either by receiving their notice in the mail or an email directly from the manufacturer or by checking themselves on NHTSA website and so this system makes it a lot easier for consumers to access that information," said Brooks.

Brooks said it's a lot to keep track of because last year alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tracked 894 recalls affecting more than 34 million vehicles.

Also, this tool is not just cars. You can also search for tire recalls, equipment recalls and even car seat recalls.

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