What to Do if Your Car Has Been Recalled

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3D car puzzleLast year, more than 50 million vehicles across the nation were recalled for a defective part, faulty mechanism or dangerous feature that had either been proven to cause or was capable of causing serious injury and harm. A blog in The Washington Post referred to 2014 as the “worst year for auto recalls in U.S. history,” and reported that of all cars and trucks on the road today, more than one in five have some type of critical, potentially deadly defect.

On its own, the massive GM ignition switch recall affected millions of vehicles, and was positively linked to at least 64 deaths and 108 injuries. A fund has been set up to compensate victims and their families. The Wall Street Journal even reported the original wrongful death case, responsible for triggering the GM ignition-switch recall, has finally been settled out-of-court for an undisclosed amount.

There Have Been a Lot of Recalls Lately:

Another massive recall, involving defective airbag inflators manufactured under the Takata brand name, affected more than seven million U.S. vehicles. According to reports, the airbags are capable of deploying in a violent and unpredictable manner, sending metal shards and fragments into drivers and passengers.

In all likelihood, your vehicle may be subject to a recall to which you have no knowledge. If you have been notified about a motor vehicle recall involving your car, knowing what steps to take next and taking them can help you avoid serious injury or death.

Confirm the Recall Applies to You:

The first step you need to take if you believe your car has been recalled is confirm that fact with your manufacturer. Most manufacturers send written notification as soon as a recall has been issued. If you do not have a letter notifying you of a recall on your car, you can visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) safercar.gov website to search for recalls for your specific vehicle. Searches can also be conducted for recalls involving child car restraints, tires, and equipment.

Information regarding the GM ignition switch recall can be found under consumer alerts on the safercar.gov website and information about the Takata airbags recall has been issued as a consumer advisory press release on the NHTSA site.

Contact an Authorized Dealer to Arrange for Repairs:

Once you have confirmed your vehicle is subject to a safety recall, you will need to contact an authorized dealer to arrange for repairs. Not all manufacturers deal with recalls in the same fashion.

The remedy will often depend on the severity of the recall, whether or not parts are immediately available, and how easy the issue is to repair. Talk to the car dealership where you purchased your vehicle. Find out when the repairs will can be done, approximately how long it will take for your vehicle to be repaired, and where there are any out-of-pocket costs for the repair. Ordinarily, the auto manufacturer pays for all recall repairs.

It is advised you get the repairs on your vehicle performed as soon as possible to help eliminate any potential risk to you, your passengers or other people on the road.

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