Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles awarded federal funding to continue safety program


COLUMBUS – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded Ohio a total of $1.3 million to continue its vehicle recall notification to protect customers.

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles was among the first in the nation to launch a vehicle safety recall notification program in January 2020 using the state’s vehicle registration renewal process. Through the program, which was created in-house at no extra cost to taxpayers, personalized vehicle safety recall information is printed on registration renewal notices and sent through the mail.

Often, drivers who are not the original owners of their vehicle may not be aware of an open recall or inadvertently dismissed the notification from the manufacturer. Ohio registers more than 12 million vehicles per year.

“Securing this grant allows us to enhance and improve this important consumer protection element,” BMV Registrar Charles Norman said. “Being made aware of an open recall is a significant step toward maintaining a safe vehicle and ultimately safer roads. We are proud of our strong commitment to both safety and innovative customer service. Ohio’s recall notification program is evidence of that continued commitment.”

According to NHTSA, there were 966 safety recalls affecting more than 53 million vehicles and motor vehicle equipment across the country in 2019. Despite recall notices and public warnings, NHTSA estimates that 25 percent of recalled vehicles still go unrepaired.

“Ohio’s franchised new motor vehicle dealers applaud Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio BMV for initiating recall notification for consumers at the time of vehicle registration renewal,” Zach Doran, president of the Ohio Auto Dealers Association, said. “Our dealer members have told me that they routinely have customers come in to get these safety recalls fixed because of this notification program implemented by Gov. DeWine and Ohio BMV to make our vehicles and roadways safer. Our members across the state stand ready and willing to fix any and all open recalls at no charge to consumers, regardless of when and where they purchased their vehicle. This notification program, coupled with consumer access to a dedicated, local dealer network located throughout the state which employs service technicians specifically trained to repair their vehicles is pro-consumer and pro-safety.”

An open recall does not affect the ability of a customer to renew their vehicle registration. Customers can also check their vehicle identification numbers for open recalls by using the VIN look-up tool on NHTSA’s website or by contacting their authorized dealership.