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WASHINGTON – Today, in preparation for the start of summer travel season next month, the National Safety Council and founding coalition partner FCA US, launched Check To Protect, a national campaign to encourage drivers to check for and quickly address open recalls on their vehicles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are more than 53 million—or more than one in four—vehicles on the road with unresolved safety recalls. This comes at a time when motor vehicle fatalities are rising at a pace not seen in more than 50 years. Check To Protect aims to educate drivers about the staggering number of vehicles on the road with unrepaired recalls and underscore the need to promptly fix recalls once drivers become aware of them.
"Vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States," said NSC President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman. "When vehicles are in top form, they reduce critical risks. Unfortunately, too many drivers are complacent when it comes to recalls, or they are unsure whether their car is subject to one. Check To Protect should help close that knowledge gap and, by extension, make our roads safer."
The problem is worse among owners of older and used vehicles. According to an Auto Alliance (Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers) and Global Automakers survey, recall compliance completion rates for newer vehicles is 83%. However, that rate is just 44% for vehicles five to 10 years old. Older vehicles tend to change hands more frequently, making it harder to track current owners with recall notification systems. This finding motivated NSC and FCA US to target Check To Protect toward owners of older and used vehicles.
In a November 2016 survey of owners of older vehicles fielded by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of FCA US, more than four in 10 respondents say they would wait to take in their car for repair if they received a recall notice (as opposed to getting the recall fixed immediately) and 5% say they wouldn't take in their car at all. About one-third of respondents reported receiving a recall on their vehicle.
Nearly 70% of respondents in FCA's 2016 survey reported they would be very likely to check to see if their vehicle has an outstanding recall if they were aware of a tool that helped them do so.
Consumer awareness is key. Drivers can go to checktoprotect.org and enter their vehicle identification number (VIN) 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 or on the inside of the driver-side door. It can also be found on a vehicle's registration card and possibly on insurance documentation. Drivers who have open recalls on their vehicles can visit a local authorized dealership to have them repaired for free.
FCA US is the founding coalition member of Check To Protect, providing initial funding for the effort. The aim of the coalition is to bring together the automotive industry, traffic safety advocacy groups and federal and state government to improve recall compliance.
"Recall awareness and compliance is critically important to road safety," said Mark Chernoby, Chief Technical Compliance Officer at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. "FCA US is proud to work with NSC to develop Check To Protect."
Check To Protect will launch an advertising campaign in July geared towards encouraging drivers to check the recall status of their vehicle. For more information about Check To Protect, including details about joining the coalition, visit www.checktoprotect.org.
About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.
About FCA US LLC FCA US LLC is a North American automaker based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It designs, manufactures, and sells or distributes vehicles under the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram, FIAT and Alfa Romeo brands, as well as the SRT performance designation. The company also distributes Mopar and Alfa Romeo parts and accessories. FCA US is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler Corp., established in 1925 by industry visionary Walter P. Chrysler and Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (F.I.A.T.), founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli. FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA). FCA, the seventh-largest automaker in the world based on total annual vehicle sales, is an international automotive group. FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FCAU" and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol "FCA."
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