Last year alone, manufactures issued 927 recalls, that affected 53.2 million vehicles. This is the third year in a row that recalls have broken the all time high record, each year progressively seeing higher numbers. A recall on your vehicle is simply when the manufacturer finds a part on a model or a range of models that does not comply with federal safety standards or is found to be faulty in some way. These recalls are often a free repair, and can be done at your local dealership.
Car manufacturers are required to send out a notice letter letting their customers know if there’s been a recall on their vehicle, but in some situations you won’t receive one. If you bought your vehicle after a recall was issued or just missed the letter in the mail, you can find the necessary information on the NHTSA website. While there usually is not a time limit on when you can get the recall done, it’s best to do it sooner than later. However, if your recall is on your tires you have 60 days to get into the dealer for repairs or replacement.
Once you’ve become aware of a recall on your vehicle, you’ll need to contact your local dealer and set up a repair appointment. You are not required to pay for the repairs tied to a recall if your vehicle is less than 10 years old. In the off chance your dealer tries to charge you for the repairs, request to speak to a manager and explain the situation. If you have one, bring your recall letter in as proof of the recall, though the dealer should already be aware. You can contact the manufacturer if the dealership continues to try and charge you, and if you have no luck there contact NHTSA directly.
A recall is not always an “immediate danger” situation, they are generally issued as a cautionary warning, as an issue has surfaced in various models or within a year range similar to your vehicle. Be patient, as sometimes it takes the manufacturer a few weeks to formulate a plan of action, and don’t worry too much. You will get your vehicle fixed, and it should only be a minor inconvenience.