This year with more vehicles recalled than in any previous year, it is more likely that a vehicle you drive may have been recalled for a safety issue.

When a vehicle is recalled for safety concerns it makes sense to it repaired as soon as possible. How would you know if a vehicle you are driving or preparing to purchase or rent has been recalled and if the repair was performed?

Today the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released an online tool at https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/. Motorists enter a vehicle identification number (VIN) to determine whether the vehicle has been recalled and repaired. In addition, carmakers are required to provide a similar VIN search for their vehicles on their own websites and also to update the recall and recall repair data weekly.

What if you enter a VIN and learn there is a recall and the repair has not been made? Take the vehicle to the dealer. The National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA) said in a statement, "To improve vehicle safety, NADA urges every car owner who receives a recall notice from a manufacturer to visit his or her local new-car dealership to have the vehicle inspected, and if necessary, fixed at no charge. Historically, less than 70 percent of all recalled vehicles get fixed. Our goal is to see 100 percent of those vehicles remedied.”

What if you are thinking of purchasing a used vehicle or you want to check safety recalls on a vehicle before renting it? The free online tool is available to individuals as well as dealers to learn whether safety recalls exist for used or rental vehicles and if the recall repairs have been performed.

"Safety is our highest priority, and an informed consumer is one of our strongest allies in ensuring recalled vehicles are repaired," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.