Set Your Clocks Back, But Don't Fall Behind in Vehicle Recalls

A vehicle safety recall notice image

As we set the clocks back for Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, use your extra hour to plan for your family’s safety. Most people check the batteries in their smoke detectors, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants you to add another potentially lifesaving check to your routine: It’s imploring car owners to also check their vehicles for outstanding safety recalls.

Related: Recall Recap: The 5 Biggest Recalls in October

Motor vehicle accidents are among the leading cause of death for kids and adults each year, and in 2017, NHTSA data shows, 37,133 people died in crashes. Ignoring a vehicle safety recall can be deadly, as has been the case with the far-reaching Takata recall; faulty airbag inflators have been blamed for killing more than a dozen people. But according to NHTSA, many people put off repairs even though they’re free.

A recent study shows that around 25 percent of vehicles between 1 and 5 years old have an open recall. That number grows as the car gets older: Some 44 percent of cars between 6 and 10 years old have an open recall.

Here are three ways motorists can get ahead of vehicle recalls:’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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News Editor Jennifer Geiger joined the automotive industry in 2003, much to the delight of her Corvette-obsessed dad. Jennifer is an expert reviewer, certified car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats — many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer Geiger

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