March 6-12 is a unique week on the NHTSA 2023 Highway Traffic Safety Events Calendar. Throughout the year, most events focus on drivers, occupants and driving behaviors, but March 6-12 focuses on vehicles. Vehicle Safety Recalls Week is the core of the Check To Protect program.
The observance serves to remind drivers, employers and employee drivers about the importance of regularly checking for safety recalls and getting them fixed. Employers and supervisors are in a unique position to share this message.
So, what is a vehicle safety recall, and why is there a designated week calling attention to it?
Recalls are issued when a vehicle defect puts drivers and passengers at risk. Automakers send out notices to the vehicle owners they have on file, but for older or previously owned vehicles, these notices may not get to the intended person. Vehicle safety recalls affect all years, makes and models. In 2022, more than 50 million vehicles on the road had open safety recalls – about one of every four vehicles in the U.S.
One well-known recall involves Takata airbags. When exposed over time to heat and humidity, these airbags can transform from life-saving devices into life-threatening ones. Even in a minor crash, defective airbags can rupture and spray sharp metal fragments into the vehicle, leading to injuries and even death. Tens of millions of vehicles still are on the road today with unrepaired, defective airbags. We urge vehicle owners with recalled airbags to get them fixed immediately.
Finding and repairing a recall is free. Go to CheckToProtect.org and enter your license plate or VIN number. You can even sign up for a calendar reminder to check back in a few months, since a safety recall could be issued for your vehicle at any time. If there is an open recall, take that next step by calling a local authorized dealer, scheduling the repair and taking the vehicle in.
Safety is everyone’s concern, and employee safety begins before arriving at work. To help protect your most valuable resource, consider making vehicle recall checks part of an employee incentive program. You could offer an incentive just for checking, with additional incentives for taking the recalled vehicle to an authorized dealership for the free repair.
To share messages for Vehicle Safety Recalls Week, Check To Protect has free, downloadable social media content, one-pagers, talking points and a press release template. Click the Resources link on CheckToProtect.org.
Check To Protect also routinely promotes vehicle safety recall awareness on its Facebook page, making it easy to share messages, create interest and promote events. Be sure to like and follow.