WASHINGTON, June 28, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Americans prepare to kick off summer travel season, the National Safety Council and founding coalition partner FCA US launched Check To Protect, a new national public awareness campaign urging drivers to check their vehicles for and promptly address any open recalls.
Drivers can visit CheckToProtect.org to learn more and access a tool that allows them to enter their 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) or make and model to check for open recalls. If a vehicle does have an open recall, a driver can get it fixed for free at a local authorized dealership. A VIN is located on the driver's side of the car, on the dashboard by the windshield as well as on the side of the door. It is also often included in insurance documents.
"Vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "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."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are currently more than one in four—or 53 million—vehicles with an open recall, posing a risk for drivers, their families, and others on the road. The need to address open recalls is particularly urgent as 2016 saw the sharpest increase in motor vehicle fatalities in more than 50 years.
The problem is worse among drivers of older or used vehicles. They are less likely to have their recalls repaired, as they are less likely to use authorized dealerships for maintenance and repairs, and they may not receive recall notifications through the traditional systems if they did not purchase their vehicles from a dealership.
"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."
About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council (NSC) 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.
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."
 In August 2015, The Auto Alliance and Global Automakers conducted a national online survey of 1,500 vehicle owners, including more than 1,000 owners who had received a recall in the previous 1-2 years. They found that recall compliance completion rates for newer vehicles is 83 percent. However, that rate is just 44 percent for vehicles five to 10 years old.
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SOURCE National Safety Council