If you were watching the nightly news and saw that your car, truck, or SUV was recalled, you are one of the millions who have had their vehicle recalled for a defect that affected safety over the past decade. There is usually scant detail about this looming danger to you and your loved ones when you ride in the family car. You have no idea where and how to start looking into your vehicle being recalled; with that in mind, here are some actions you can take when your car is placed.
Make Sure the Model of Your Vehicle is Being Recalled
If you purchased the vehicle directly from the dealer, a notice will be sent to you in the mail if your car is of the type being recalled. Dealerships are required by law to inform their customers when a recall occurs so that they will be contacted. Suppose you are not the original owner or are unwilling to wait because, say, something such as the gas pedal sticking to the floor or a component that causes the gas tank to explode is the reason for the recall. In that case, there is a way to determine if your vehicle is being recalled.
Every car has what is known as a vehicle identification number (VIN) that tracks things like transactions the car was involved in and things like recalls. Usually, you can locate the VIN on the front corner of the dashboard in front of the steering wheel. Sometimes, it will be found on the driver’s side door jamb when you open it.
You can use the vehicle’s VIN to safercar.gov, which the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration runs. You can determine if the recall applies to your vehicle by entering the VIN.
My Vehicle was Recalled. What do I do Now?
When you receive a letter from the dealership where you purchased the car, it will give you instructions on setting up an appointment at the dealership or with an authorized mechanic to perform repairs.
If you did not purchase the car directly from a dealer, contact the manufacturer dealership in your area, and they will be able to assist you. In most cases, there won’t be a charge for repairs. However, if the recall is on tires, you will only have 180 days to have them replaced before a fee is assessed.
Be on Guard
Unfortunately, the reputation of car dealerships and mechanics being unscrupulous has been well earned by some. Remember, there is no charge for repairs in almost all vehicle recalls. If the dealership you received the letter from or the dealer-authorized mechanic who will do the repairs asks for money, take your car home.
Contact another manufacturer dealership and explain what happened; in most cases, they will offer assistance or direct you to another authorized mechanic.
As previously stated, the only scenarios where there would be fees associated with recalls are when the car is older or it’s past 180 days on a tire recall. There should be no charge on a recently purchased vehicle.
If you encounter someone trying to charge for recalls, be sure to inform the manufacturer and the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration.
So, breathe easy; having your car recalled may cause some slight inconvenience, but it is not the ordeal many think it will be.
Should you have any questions about Vehicle Recalls or Auto Insurance, please email us or call us at (863) 646-LOCK.