The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finalized a rule that requires automakers and motorcycle manufacturers to each provide a free, online tool, by Aug. 2014., that will allow users to search for recall information via Vehicle Identification Number.

NHTSA’s final rule requires automakers to update recall information on their respective websites on a weekly basis. A number of automakers currently have a feature similar to what the new rule requires on their websites, including BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

The final rule requires manufacturers to inform NHTSA about the type of propulsion system and crash avoidance technologies on the vehicle, which the agency said will help it identify defect trends related to those types of systems. The rule also requires manufacturers to provide vehicle owners with direct recall notifications within 60 days of notifying NHTSA that a recall is occurring.

In addition to this requirement, NHTSA said it will offer a new search feature on its website that will allow site users to find out whether a specific vehicle, based on its VIN, is subject to a recall and whether that vehicle has received the fix noted in the recall.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet