Recalls happen when the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the automaker found a defect in a specific car model or has determined that it does not meet federal safety standards. They sometimes involve a couple or more car models and are often a result of several complaints from owners. But when you get a recall notice on your vehicle, don’t feel bad. Instead, understand that it is part of the automaker’s quality control process.
So how would you know and what should you do if your car is being recalled? But before we proceed, keep in mind as well that other automotive products like tires and child seats can also be recalled.
Receiving an Alert
Safety recalls are often announced by the NHTSA rather than the manufacturer. But you don’t have to scour the NHTSA’s database from time to time to check if your car is being recalled. You will get notified about a safety recall through a mail. If you have an online account with your local dealer, you can also receive an alert there.
The notice basically tells you that your car is affected by a safety recall because something faulty in it has to be fixed. It goes on explaining the risks and the possible damages the defect can cause. Then it tells you that you need to bring the car into a specific authorized dealer for repairs as soon as possible.
So don’t ignore the mail with words “Safety Recall Notice” or anything similar. It contains very important information. And don’t worry. You won’t—and can’t—be charged for the repair or replacement of the faulty part.
Getting It Fixed
The next thing to do after reading that notice is to follow what it says you should do: Bring it to the service department of the specified dealer. And again, do this as soon as you can. Although a recall does not immediately mean you’re in danger, you wouldn’t want to risk your health of life by delaying the move. The best thing to do is have the defect remedied the soonest. Besides, the repair will cost you nothing so there’s no need to hesitate. In addition, some repairs take only five minutes. Others, though, take hours depending on the defect.