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It's easier than many think to see if a vehicle has been recalled

In 2015, about 51 million vehicles were recalled. Often, these recalls occur because of defective auto parts, which may result in injury or death. In a tragic example of a defective auto part, young actor, Anton Yelchin, lost his life when his Jeep Grand Cherokee pinned him against a brick structure.

Yelchin's Jeep was one of more than one million vehicles recalled due to defective gear shifts. Apparently, the shifts led operators to believe the vehicle was in park when it was not. Yelchin's Jeep rolled down the actor's driveway after he exited the vehicle, causing his death.

With so many recalls occurring each year, it may seem difficult to keep track of them or determine if a specific automobile has been recalled. Fortunately, CARFAX has addressed this issue by releasing a free app to help vehicle owners check the status of their automobiles.

After downloading the app, users simply enter either the license plate number or the vehicle identification number (VIN). The app then delivers information regarding any recalls involving your vehicle.

The app is useful in other ways as well. It can provide you with details about the history of your car if you bought it used. It can also help you develop and track a maintenance schedule for your vehicle.

Regardless of the injury risks, if any, associated with vehicle recalls and defective auto parts, it is important to know about anything that might affect the performance and safety of your automobile. Those who do suffer injuries because of defective auto parts can find a legal remedy by speaking with a personal injury attorney.

Source: NBC News, "How to Know If Your Car Has Been Recalled," Margaret O'Malley, accessed Nov. 02, 2017

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