Buying a used car can be risky. How do you know what you're getting?
- hidden accident damage?
- false odometer readings?
- flood damage?
Truth is, all you need to avoid these risks is a VIN number check. A car's
unique Vehicle Identification Number is the key to unlocking its history.
- insurance card or policy
- vehicle title or registration card
- front driver's side dash, looking through windshield
- front driver's side door post
| A VIN number check is called many different things.
Below is a brief list of common terms for this service.
- vin check
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A Vehicle History Report, powered by Auto VIN Check, gives you all the
facts you need to make the right used car buying decision. VIN numbers
and odometer history readings. Registration history. Major accident records.
Now it's easy to avoid a junk car. Reveal the full history of any car.
Quality the most American-made cars has improved the auto industry recalled a record number 25 million vehicles.
Date: Jan 26, 2005
Contributor: Louisa Elzy
In one November week, General Motors recalled more than one million cars and SUVs for exterior lighting problems. Earlier in the year, GM recalled nearly 4 million Silverado and Sierra pickups to replace tailgate cables after numerous reports that the cables could rust and snap.
General Motors alone recalled close to 11 million vehicles, up from 7.8 million in 2003.
"The good news," Rae Tyson, spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, told the Detroit News, "is that manufacturers seem much more inclined to step forward and quickly remedy problems. In an ideal world, we would have zero recalls, but that’s never going to happen."
And a good thing for auto industry advertising executive Steve Goldstein and Connecticut car dealer Larry Merriam.Goldstein and Merriam have come up with aWeb site that lets drivers find out whether their vehicle has any open recalls and whether repairs were ever performed.
VehicleRecallCheck.com links motorists to a local dealer willing to fix the problem for free.
Goldstein and Merriam have partnered with car dealers along the Connecticut shoreline and plan to expand statewide and eventually, nationwide.
"So many consumers on the road have no way of knowing whether the vehicle they’re driving has an open recall," Merriam says.
Goldstein calls it "a growing problem," as more people buy used cars and may not know the vehicle’s maintenance history.
Kyle Bradt, service manager for Gallagher Buick, New Britain, does the checking the traditional way. He says he can check any General Motors car that’s ten years old or newer for any kind of recall that has been done or is in need of a recall.
"I don’t believe the public has access to it," he said.
Other dealers, who asked not to be identified, wondered about the need for such a program. Still,Goldstein is adamant about its value.
"This is all about safety," he says. "Recalls are issued because of safety or emissions problems. There are millions of cars on the road -- maybe as many as a third of all vehicles --that have never had their recall work done."
Ken Papa of Papa’s Dodge, New Britain, says his dealership has access to Chrysler’s recall information.
"It’s VIN specific," he says. "We need the vehicle’s serial number, mileage and customer’s name to access the information. This way we learn about recalls that need to be addressed or have been addressed."
Papa believes VehicleRecall
Check.comcould benefit consumers who purchase cars outside dealerships.
Goldstein explains that his Web site allows drivers to enter their VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). The VIN is relayed to a participating local dealer, who has access to a detailed database maintained by the vehicle’s manufacturer. The dealer then replies directly to the driver with the details on what has or has not been done.
"It sounds simple and it is," Goldstein says. "You may be vaguely aware that a recall was issued for your make and model, and other Web sites can tell you that. But, as far as I know, ours is the only site that lets you quickly and easily determine what has been done to your specific vehicle."
There is no cost to the owner of the vehicle for either parts or labor to complete recalls. Under current law, a manufacturer is required to remedy problems at no charge as long as the vehicle is no more than ten years old.
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