How to check if your car has recalled parts

FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2012 file photo, a line of 2012 Chevrolet Cruze sedans sit at a dealership in the south Denver suburb of Englewood, Colo. The risk of engine fires is forcing General Motors to recall its Chevrolet Cruze compact cars, the company announced Friday, June 22, 2012. GM says the fires happen when fluids drip onto a plastic shield below the engine and ignite. GM knows of 30 fires caused by the problem. No injuries have been reported. The recall covers cars built from September 2010 through May 2012. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

April 7, 2014 4:43:33 AM PDT
Though General Motors has been at the center of a well-publicized recall of 2.6 million small cars this year, many drivers remain either apathetic or uninformed that they may be driving a car with recalled parts.

"They do it for the same reason why people don't take an umbrella with them despite a rain forecast: they see it's sunny outside," said Jack Nerad, executive editorial director at Kelley Blue Book. "If their car is operating fine, it's something they put off and it's something that will never happen."

To check if a car you own or hope to buy has recalled parts, Nerad suggests checking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) recall and defects website or, which is a one-stop shop for recalls of six separate government agencies, including the NHTSA and the Food and Drug Administration.

Consumer Reports also has a free online tool that allows you to check for recalls based on your car year, make and model.

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