Vehicle Safety Compliance

Vehicle Safety Recalls Can Affect Your Trucking Business

According to the NHTSA, in 2020 there was 886 vehicle safety recalls “affecting 55 million vehicles and other equipment in the United States.” Every vehicle safety recall is serious, but recalls are even more critical for trucking and transportation companies. Driving defective vehicles or carrying loads with defective equipment can put your trucking business at serious risk for injury and financial liability.

NHTSA Vehicle Safety Recalls Week March 8 – 12, 2021

March 8 – 12, 2021 was designated Vehicle Safety Recalls Week by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If you haven’t already, Spring is a good time to set aside some time on your calendar to be sure your trucking company is not affected by any vehicle defect or equipment recalls. 

NHTSA provides a number of helpful tools that enable vehicle owners to stay on top of vehicle and equipment recalls. All of which are available via their web-based portal.

Vehicle Safety Recalls Matter Infographic

Here are 4 Things You Can Do to Stay On-Top of Vehicle Safety Defects and Equipment Recalls

1. Check Your Trucks’ Identification Numbers

NHTSA provides a user-friendly web-based Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Look-Up Tool that allows trucking company owners – or any vehicle owner-  to check for open safety recalls for their vehicles or after-market automotive equipment, such as tires.

The NHTSA VIN Look-Up Tool is free and easy to use. Just locate the 17-digit VIN on the lower portion of the windshield of your vehicle on the driver’s side, or inside the driver’s door, or on your truck’s vehicle registration card.

The NHTSA Vin Look-Up Tool will provide information on unrepaired safety recalls from most medium and heavy truck manufacturers. 

According to the NHTSA, “about 25% of vehicle recalls are not addressed, which puts drivers, passengers, and others on the road at risk.” Are your trucks in the 25%? It’s definitely worth taking a moment to find out. 

2. Sign-Up For Recall Alerts

The NHTSA also offers a vehicle recall email notification system. It’s a good idea to subscribe to the emails and receive the alerts. If your fleet includes used trucks, it’s even more important to subscribe to receive your vehicle recall notices since you’re not likely to receive them from the manufacturer or dealer. 

If you’re a  trucking company owner managing safety and compliance issues on your own, it’s critical that you take the initiative. Check for yourself and sign up for safety recall alerts. You’ll need to make sure you’re informed about a recall that affects your drivers’ safety and to protect your company’s liability. 

3. Use the SaferCar App

While this NHTSA SaferCar app is mainly targeted toward private vehicle owners, it’s worth the minimal time and effort to sign up. Simply download the app and add your vehicle information and equipment to your “Virtual Garage.” You’ll then be notified should a vehicle defect or equipment malfunction be reported to the NHTSA. If you’re subscribed to the app, you’ll be one of the first to know. The app is available for iOS and Android.

4. Sign Up For Ongoing Managed Compliance Services

In the trucking industry, vehicle safety and federal and state regulations compliance are what keeps you in business. At TCS, we make it our business to keep you on the road. Our Compliance Specialists can help you maintain a driver policy and procedure manual and ensure it is always up to date. We’ll maintain policies and procedures for reporting vehicle or equipment safety issues to the NHTSA. Our specialists can help communicate changes to your operations, fleet, and throughout your organization.

Find out more about how we keep trucking companies on the road by providing ongoing trucking compliance management services.

If Your Trucks are Involved in a Safety Recall, Don’t Wait

If vehicles within your fleet are affected by a safety recall, contact your local vehicle manufacturer’s dealer. Ask to schedule a recall repair as soon as possible. According to the NHTSA, every safety recall is fixed for free. In fact, the largest vehicle safety recalls in US history are still ongoing due to an airbag equipment malfunction.

Likewise, if you suspect a safety issue with your vehicle, tires, or other equipment, call the NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236. Reporting safety-related defects can save lives and livelihoods and even one compliant can trigger a safety recall. For more information, visit

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