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What to Do if Your Car Has a Recall

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This article is sponsored by Newsome Melton Law.

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Car recalls are a big deal. They happen when either the car manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has identified a serious risk in certain cars due to the way they’ve been designed or put together in the factory. This can often lead to most, if not all, of a certain make or model being recalled.

What’s more, the recall could be for anything from a faulty wheel that is unsafe to drive on, or even something like the Takata airbag recall, due to the airbags being linked to explosive deployments and multiple deaths.

Because of the potential risks involved, it’s important to take any car recall notice seriously, and get the problem rectified as soon as you can.

How will I find out about the car recall?

Thankfully, you don’t really have to do anything to find out about a car recall. Once either the auto manufacturer or the NHTSA has found a defect worth a recall, you’ll be sent a notice that informs you of all the important details.

In these recall notices, you’ll find details on what the defect is, what the potential safety risks are, what will be done to fix it, and what you need to do next. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that some people might not receive a recall notice. This could be because someone hasn’t registered their vehicle recently, or manufacturers just weren’t able to track you down as an owner.

Fortunately, you can sign up for email updates from the NHTSA that keep you updated on all auto recalls. This can be really helpful if you’ve been hearing rumors about a recall and you want confirmation or peace of mind.

How long do I have to repair the issue?

Guidance from the NHTSA suggests that auto owners have 10 years from the original sale date of the car to seek a fix in the event of a recall. However, the only difference is when the recall relates to tires, in which case you have a maximum of 60 days to seek a recall repair.

That said, while you do have some time to seek a repair, it’s always beneficial to seek a repair as soon as possible. Getting the repair done quickly helps give you peace of mind, and helps you avoid a potentially serious accident at some point in the future.

Can I afford it?

Yes! When a fault-led recall is in effect, it’s the manufacturer’s obligation to cover the costs associated with any repairs. The recall notice you receive will give you information on dealers that work closely with the manufacturer so that you can get in, get fixed, and get out free of charge as soon as possible, whether its a few minutes or a few hours of work.

While you might feel a bit unnerved about facing a car recall, especially if you’re a newly-qualified driver or it’s your first-ever recall, there are a lot of systems in place to better ensure auto manufacturers design and build their vehicles to the highest standards to lower the risk of a recall, and that you as a consumer are taken care of throughout the process.

Don’t be unnerved if your car is affected by a recall. Follow this guide to get the problem fixed ASAP so you can drive safe and worry-free.