How to check if your car has 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 Recalls.gov, 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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