Practical Tips About Vehicle Recalls

Annually, a vast number of vehicles are recalled for safety issues, from minor defects to serious concerns such as malfunctioning airbags. It’s vital for vehicle owners to stay updated about these recalls for their safety and the safety of others. This article will guide you through the process of verifying if your car has been recalled and what steps to take if it has.


Step 1: Check the NHTSA Website

The first and most efficient method to find out if your car has been recalled is to visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, specifically, the portal. Here, you can access up-to-date information regarding all vehicle recalls in the United States.

To use this resource, you will need your vehicle’s 17-digit alphanumeric Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which is unique to your car. You can find your VIN on the driver’s side of your dashboard, visible through the windshield, or on the driver’s side door post (where the door latches). Once you enter your VIN on the website, it will provide information about any recalls associated with your specific vehicle.

Step 2: Pay Attention to Manufacturer Notifications

Automobile manufacturers are required by law to send out recall notifications to the registered owners of recalled vehicles. These notifications usually come in the form of a letter and should not be confused with other mailings like marketing materials or warranty notices. They contain information about the nature of the recall, the risk involved, and instructions on how to get the defect fixed.

However, if you’ve moved recently or purchased your vehicle second-hand, there’s a chance you may not receive these notifications. The manufacturer’s contact information may not be up-to-date, or the recall notice may have been sent to a previous owner. This is where the importance of regularly checking the NHTSA website comes in.

Step 3: Schedule an Appointment with Your Dealer

If you discover that your vehicle has been recalled, the next step is to schedule an appointment with your dealership. Recall repairs should be treated as urgent, as they concern the safety of your vehicle.

Remember, it doesn’t matter if you bought your car new or used—the dealership will still handle recall repairs. Just be sure to contact an authorized dealer who sells your car brand, as they’ll have the appropriate parts and knowledge to correct the issue.

Final Thought: Recalls Are Covered by the Manufacturer

A key thing to note is that all recall work is paid for by the manufacturer, not the vehicle owner. This includes all parts and labor. If a dealer attempts to charge you for a recall repair, it’s advisable to contact the manufacturer or the NHTSA to report the issue.

In summary, keeping up to date with vehicle recalls is an integral part of owning a car and ensuring road safety. By habitually visiting the NHTSA website and being vigilant about potential recall notifications, you can promptly address any safety concerns and maintain a secure and seamless driving experience.

See AlsoPros and Cons of Servicing Your Car at a Dealership

Story photo under license from Adobe Stock.

Matt Keegan
Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan is a journalist, media professional, and owner of this website. He has an extensive writing background and has covered the automotive sector continuously since 2004. When not driving and evaluating new vehicles, Matt enjoys spending his time outdoors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *