NHTSA has launched a mobile app that automatically checks for safety recalls and alerts users when a recall has been issued, according to the Department of Transportation.
The agency's SaferCar app allows users to type in or scan their VIN and receive recall notifications on their iOS or Android devices. Users can save information for their vehicles, car seats, tires and other equipment in a "virtual garage" on their devices to get critical safety information and access other NHTSA online tools. If a recall is issued, the app directs the user to a local dealership handling repairs.
To inform the public of the app, there will be a paid digital campaign, organic social media push and outreach to safety partners, a NHTSA spokesperson told Automotive News.
"In today's world, smartphones are the tool of choice for many tasks and the updated SaferCar app is a new safety tool at the public's disposal," NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens said in a statement.
"The SaferCar app allows you to store your information locally on your device and then the app goes to work to inform you of recalls as they occur, and owners can more quickly get their free recall repairs scheduled," he said.
The total number of vehicles, car seats, tires and equipment recalled in 2019 was about 53 million, according to the agency, with vehicles making up 38.6 million—or nearly 73 percent—of those items recalled.