It's only April and over 13 million vehicles have already been recalled. Here's what you need to do to if yours is one of them.
Recall announcements are often made by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rather than the automaker. You probably have better things to do than pour over NHTSA's database, so we publish announcements about widespread recalls.
You can also check to see if your car is affected by a recall by going to the "vehicle owners" section of SaferCar.gov and searching for your vehicle. Vehicles aren't the only products that NHTSA requests to be recalled by the manufacturer. Child seats and tires are monitored for safety concerns as well.
If your car is affected by a new recall, then you can expect to notification in the mail. These letters are sent out by using the state's vehicle registration database.
The letter will inform you that there's a potential safety concern with your vehicle and generally will ask you to take it to an authorized dealer for service. In some cases, like when there's a need for a replacement part, the letter will state when the safety fix will be available and how long the repair will take. In some extreme cases, the letter will even tell you to stop driving your car.
Don't worry if you lost the letter or didn't receive it in the first place. You can still obtain the notice of the recall from the NHTSA website and take it to your local dealership to get help.
More: What Should I Do If My Car is Recalled?