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Are you driving a rolling time bomb?

Passing-Lane---Vehicle-RecallAs holiday preparations occupy the thoughts of many Kentuckians, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is urging travelers to check for unrepaired vehicle recalls. By visiting CheckToProtect.org, drivers can conduct a free search for open recalls on their specific car using their vehicle identification number (VIN). A search using the vehicle’s year, make and model yields a list of potential open recalls. Authorized dealers will repair recalled vehicles for free.

Kentucky is the first state to partner with the National Safety Council to bring awareness to motorists about Check To Protect, a national campaign to encourage drivers to search the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) open recall database. More than 105,000 clicks have been made to the website since the June campaign launch. KYTC wants to see those numbers increase in Kentucky, which has the eighth-highest open recall rate in the nation.

“Of the 4 million registered vehicles on Kentucky roadways, one in four has recall repairs that need to be addressed,” said John-Mark Hack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Vehicle Regulation. “Unfortunately, there’s no warning light on a dashboard alerting drivers of recalls.”

In under two minutes, motorists can enter their VIN online at CheckToProtect.org for a full report on the recall status of their vehicle. The 17-digit VIN can be found in the lower left corner of a car’s windshield, on the inside of the driver-side door or on a vehicle’s registration card and possibly on insurance documents. If a recall is identified for the vehicle, drivers can call their local dealer to schedule a free repair.

“Vehicle safety is a key component of highway safety,” said Noelle Hunter, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety. “The Takata air bag recall is the largest automotive recall in history, affecting 34 million vehicles. Unsuspecting motorists could be driving vehicles that pose a safety risk. Taking a few minutes to check if your vehicle needs attention makes the roads safer for everyone. With free repairs available for all open recalls, there’s no reason not to act if your vehicle needs a repair.”

According to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Global Automakers, the recall compliance rate for vehicles up to four years old is 83 percent; the rate decreases significantly to 44 percent for vehicles five to 10 years old. The drop in compliance is attributed to the difficultly in tracking owners of older and used vehicles. Since drivers expect to receive alerts about recalls, they do not tend to check for themselves.

For more information, visit CheckToProtect.org.