US rolls out free app for alerts on vehicle recalls


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DETROIT (AP/WKRN) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is offering a smartphone app that will alert drivers if their vehicles are recalled called SaferCar.

Owners key in or scan their 17-digit vehicle identification number, and the app will search the agency’s database for recalls. If there is one, the app will send an alert, the agency says.

Click here to download the SaferCar App for iOS
Click here to download the SaferCar App for Android

People also can add child seats, trailers and tires, and the app will check those for recalls.

Private services such as CarFax already offer similar apps for vehicle recalls, but this is a first for NHTSA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Owners already can go online and check the NHTSA database for recalls.

Vehicle owners can get the app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store by searching for “SaferCar.” Full information about the app can be found online.

The safety agency says vehicle information is kept on the owner’s phone and no personal information is shared with the government.

“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,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens said in a statement.

NHTSA says that one in four vehicles now on the road has an unrepaired recall, which is a safety risk. Automakers must fix safety recall problems at no cost to owners.

Last year, 53 million vehicles, car seats, tires and equipment were recalled, according to the agency.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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