Get off to a safe start this year, check for outstanding safety recalls on your vehicle

Person on the phone with roadside assistance to help with car defect


Ensuring that recalls on your vehicle are resolved helps ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road.

Owners are commonly unaware of minivan, S.U.V., truck and car recalls, because manufacturers only have a responsibility to inform registered owners of new or certified used vehicles purchased at car dealerships. This leaves many other used car buyers and owners without any notice of recalls on their vehicles. Used car reviews and commonly purchased used car history reports do not share recall information either.

How do you find out if there is a safety recall on your vehicle?

Transport Canada offers many tips for finding out the recall status of your vehicle. They suggest:

  1. Searching the motor vehicle safety recalls database: This tool holds all recall information since the 1970s based on vehicle manufacturer and type.
  2. Downloading the Government of Canada recalls and safety alerts app: The app will help you find out about recalls on vehicles and other things.
  3. Visiting your manufacturer’s website: Most manufacturers offer a VIN search, which will update you about your vehicles recall status among other things.

“Many Canadians don't even know their cars have defects. In a report released last week, Transport Canada told the Office of the Auditor General that manufacturers had difficulty identifying and contacting owners of recalled cars — especially in the case of older vehicles that may have changed hands”. – CBC News

What is a safety recall?

According to Transport Canada, a safety recall is a manufacturer’s Notice of Defect or Notice of Non-Compliance. One is issued when a manufacturer:

  • Finds a safety defect in vehicle
  • Discovers that product doesn’t comply with safety standards

A recall notice from the manufacturer will always include:

  • A description of the issue and safety risk
  • Steps you need to follow to fix the problem

For more helpful information on safety recalls visit Transport Canada .

What is a VIN and how do I find it?

Every vehicle has a unique number assigned to it during production; this is the VIN or “Vehicle Identification Number.” A VIN number is unique to the assigned vehicle and is 17 characters long (numbers and capital letters).

You can find the VIN number of your vehicle at the bottom driver’s side corner of the windshield. It will also be printed on your vehicle’s ownership and sometimes found on the insurance slip for your vehicle.

For more information on VIN numbers visit Auto Check.

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