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Government rolls out free app for vehicle recall alerts

Government rolls out free app for vehicle recall alerts
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is rolling out a free smartphone app that alerts drivers to newly announced vehicle recalls.

The app SaferCar allows vehicle owners to scan or type in their 17 digital vehicle identification number to search the agency's database, according to a press release. Vehicle attachments such as trailers, tires and child seats can also be checked for recalls within the app.

SaferCar is now available on the Google Play store and is set to hit the Apple Store later Thursday.

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“The SaferCar app allows you to store your information locally on your device, and then the app goes to work to inform you of recalls as they occur,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens said in a statement.

Other services such as CarFax have offered similar features for some time, but NHTSA's launch marks the first provided by the Department of Transportation.

NHTSA said the app would help keep drivers more aware of potential recalls, as statistics show 1 in 4 vehicles now on the road have at least one unrepaired recall issue.

Fifty-three million vehicles and other car attachments and equipment were recalled in the U.S. last year, according to the agency.