ANNAPOLIS (April 2, 2018)—Today, Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Deputy Secretary Jim Ports joined MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) Administrator Christine Nizer to announce the launch of the first vehicle recall safety pilot program in the nation, which will provide life-saving recall messages to Maryland vehicle owners and lessees on their MDOT MVA renewal notices. They were joined by the Chief Counsel from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) and representatives from Global Automakers and the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition.
"Recalls are serious," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. "Recall repairs are completely free to the consumer. This first-in-the-nation grant will serve as an example to the rest of the country as we continue to work across government to reach consumers in new and creative ways with potentially life-saving information about their vehicles."
Maryland was also the only state in the nation to receive a grant from NHTSA, which totaled $222,300, for the pilot program. This pilot program alerts Marylanders to recalls on their vehicles and encourages recipients to take appropriate action to remedy open safety recalls.
"Our administration is committed to using every resource possible to ensure the safety of our citizens," said Governor Hogan. "We are proud to set an example for other states through this common sense program that will help inform Marylanders about vehicle safety recalls and encourage them to take action."
Beginning today, MDOT MVA will provide important recall safety information on both the mailed and emailed registration renewal notices. An open recall will not affect the ability of a customer to renew their vehicle registration.
"At MDOT MVA, we are committed to providing our customers with as much information about safety related issues as possible," said MDOT MVA Administrator Christine Nizer. "We hope our customers are able to take advantage of this information and take the necessary steps to address any safety issues impacting their registered vehicle."
To obtain vehicle recall information, MDOT MVA has partnered with Cox Automotive, Inc., a provider of industry-leading digital marketing, financial, retail and wholesale solutions across the automotive industry.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with NHTSA and the state of Maryland to notify consumers of vehicle recalls in conjunction with vehicle registration renewals. Including vehicle recall information with the registration renewal is an innovative way to give consumers visibility to this important information," said Mark O'Neil, Chief Operating Officer of Cox Automotive. "While recalls are an unfortunate part of vehicle ownership, we are passionate about making it easier for consumers to access information while keeping our roads safer."
MDOT MVA customers will see notifications on their mailed and emailed registration renewal notices about any open recall on their vehicle. The agency emails and mails renewal notices to customers approximately 60 days before the registration period ends.
Customers may also check a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for open recalls at any time by contacting their authorized dealership or by using the VIN look-up tool found on the NHTSA website at www.nhtsa.gov.