The National Highway Safety Administration has upped its tech game with redesign of its SaferCar app. The update, NHTSA announced Thursday, adds automatic alerts in the event an automaker recalls a vehicle.
The SaferCar app has always allowed you to search for recalls, but this latest update proactively pushes alerts in the event an automaker issues one. Otherwise, owners likely wouldn’t know until a mailed notice shows up, sometimes months later. Now, the app will automatically push an alert to your smartphone once NHTSA files the documents for the public to view. The administration said users can save their vehicles in a virtual garage, which tells the system which vehicles to push alerts for. While similar services exist, this is a free app straight from the US federal government.
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As for privacy, NHTSA says your data is stored locally on your smartphone and there is no way for the administration to receive that data.
The latest feature will hopefully be a boon to owners and help take care of outstanding recalls. According to the government, one in four vehicles on the road has an open recall. Safety recalls only occur when a defect increases the risk of injury or a crash. It’s always important to take care of any open recalls issued for your vehicle — they’re repaired free of charge, and it could save your life.
The new, updated app is available now on the Android Play Store, and will appear later today on the Apple App Store.