Despite minimal time inconveniences, automobile recalls play an important role in keeping drivers safe. Check out the questions and answers below to learn more about recalls.
What is an auto recall?
A recall is a requirement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that owners of a particular car model or models manufactured during a specific timeframe (and sometimes at a certain location) have important service performed or repairs made to ensure that the vehicle continues to operate safely.
How will I know if my car has been recalled?
The manufacturers will send you a letter and possibly an email. You can also get information on revenues by visiting the NHTSA’s website. If you receive a letter, it will:
● Describe the problem with your vehicle
● Explain the risks posed by the defect
● List warning signs
● Detail how the manufacturer will correct the problem and how long it will take
● Provide information on next steps
What are the most common types of issues prompting recalls?
Recalls can involve something as minor as a mislabeled sticker, but generally they have to do with safety issues. These commonly include fire hazards such as leaks or wiring problems, faulty airbags (deploying late or unexpectedly), steering malfunctions, and accelerators that “stick” causing unintended acceleration.
If my car is recalled, am I in immediate danger?
Not necessarily. But, of course, the sooner you have the repair made, the better.
Can my mechanic make the repairs?
Typically, repairs must be made by the manufacturer’s dealership in your area.
Can I have the repairs made immediately?
How quickly you can have the problem addressed is a function of how large the recall is. With more widespread recalls, you may have to schedule an appointment many weeks out.
Do I have to pay for the work?
No. The auto manufacturer is required to make any repairs free of charge.
Will the dealership provide me a loaner while they repair my car?
Due to the expense, car makers prefer not to provide loaners. However, in some cases they will – and it never hurts to ask.
Hearing that a recall affects your car can be disconcerting. However, the NHTSA’s process for notifying owners and coordinating with car companies to get issues resolved works very well. Just be sure you take steps to have the issue addressed in a timely manner and you’ll be back to carefree driving in no time.
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