What do I do when my vehicle is recalled?
Vehicles being recalled in the United States is a common problem; in fact, one that happens around the globe, not just here at home. But, what do you do when your vehicle is recalled? Where do you start? How do you know what to do? These are common questions, one that we’ll address today in this post.
Start by Seeing if your Car was Impacted by the Recall
Just because your model year and make was recalled, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be impacted by the recall. Manufacturers change distributors and parts throughout the year, so the best way to check is to input your VIN. You can check to see if your car was recalled by going to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations website. Click on the yellow button that reads “Search for recall by VIN.”
If you’re purchasing a used car, this is also a great place to start to ensure the vehicle you purchased doesn’t have an outstanding recall that you should address before purchasing the vehicle.
You Should Get some Mail
Because you have to register your vehicles, you should receive a notice via mail that your vehicle is likely impacted by a recall. This letter will typically inform you to contact your dealer to schedule a service. In the event the recall is considered very dangerous, the letter may go as far as to tell you to not drive the vehicle any longer.
How Much is a Recall Going to Cost Me?
The great news for consumers is that a safety recall will be fixed free of charge. If you happen to have repaired the affected part prior to the recall occurring, you can ask the manufacturer for reimbursement. Keep in mind though, you will not likely be given a loaner vehicle while the vehicle is being repaired, so plan on being out of the vehicle for a day or so unless the recall is something simple. EX: like a new sticker that replaces one with wrong information. One last thing to note here is that if your vehicle is recalled and you do nothing for 10+ years, the manufacturer will be off the hook to repair after this time.
Is this a Common Problem?
Most all manufacturers experience recalls. In fact, http://edmonds.com reported that over 61 million vehicles were recalled in 2014! While this is a staggering number, this is from all vehicles, not just model year vehicles. So, when GM recalled 7 million vehicles in 2014 for the ignition problem, this was for vehicles manufactured in 1997-2014. So, just because you have an older vehicle, doesn’t mean you won’t be affected by a vehicle recall.
Do All These Recalls mean Vehicles Are Becoming Less Safe?
Quite the contrary! According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety improved vehicle design and safety technology have resulted in a steady decline of fatal accidents. In fact, 9 vehicles reported zero fatal accidents in the 2011 calendar year. They also reported that the smaller the vehicle, the higher the risk of fatal accidents. The bigger, typically the less risk.
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