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Toledo Legal News - News Ohio BMV launches recall safety notice program

 

Between scattershot media reports and the unsolicited auto warranty offers that fill mailboxes, motorists may easily overlook or miss an official recall notice from their auto manufacturer.

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles is hopeful a new program notifying motorists of applicable vehicle safety recalls will assist in ensuring drivers' safety. The agency is partnering on the program with national vehicle history supplier, Carfax.

According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the state is among the first in the country to launch such a recall notification program that employs the state's vehicle registration renewal process. Through the program, vehicle safety recall information is printed on registration renewal notices, which are sent through the mail.

"The BMV is committed to providing excellent, innovative customer service," Bureau Registrar Charles Norman said in prepared remarks. "The safety recall notification program is another example of our dedication to improving and enhancing the overall customer experience by providing innovative options to meet their needs and keep them safe."

Drivers who are not the original owners of their vehicle may not be aware of an open recall or inadvertently dismissed the notification from the manufacturer, a press release detailed. Together with stakeholders, the BMV identified this as a severe gap and worked to close it at no cost to customers.

"We are able to use the Vehicle Recall Search Service to help inform Ohioans so they can address recalls for free," said Faisal Hasan, general manager of data at Carfax. "This partnership means more vehicle recalls will be remedied, and Ohio roadways will be safer for it."

Customers also may check their Vehicle Identification Numbers for open recalls by using the VIN look-up tool on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website,www.nhtsa.gov,or contacting an authorized dealership.

An open recall does not affect the ability of customers to renew their vehicle registration, officials said.

"The safety of Ohioans is top priority," Gov. Mike DeWine said. "By putting recall information on vehicle registration notices, we want to proactively alert motorists to potential vehicle safety issues to help prevent crashes, injuries and deaths."

Ohio drivers are expected to begin receiving open recall notifications in January.

KEITH ARNOLD, Daily Reporter Staff Writer

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