Federal grant will notify Maryland drivers of vehicle recalls

WASHINGTON — Maryland has become the first state to receive federal money to launch a program which will notify drivers of recalls for their vehicles.

The Maryland Department of Transportation was awarded $222,300 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The grant comes as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act which awards money to states to get safety recall information to drivers. Six states have agreed to launch similar programs, but Maryland is the first to receive federal grant money for the effort.

“Our state is proud to pilot this important initiative that will protect our citizens and make our road’s safer,” said Gov. Larry Hogan in a statement.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says on average only 70 percent of vehicle recalls are actually fixed by car owners.

“Recalls are serious,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in a news release on the grant. “Recall repairs are completely free to the consumer.”

Beginning in April 2018, vehicle identification numbers will be checked against a recall database, and if an outstanding recall exists, a notification on it will be sent alongside car registration renewal information.

The pilot program will last two years and be evaluated.

Vehicle can be checked anytime on the NHTSA Recalls website.

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