Has My Vehicle Been Recalled?

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With all of the news that has been hitting the airwaves and internet regarding recalls the past few years, it's no wonder that you're concerned about whether your car has any pending recalls on it. So, how do you go about finding out whether your car or truck has been recalled? Some recalls are serious. A car that's been recalled because the brake system can catch fire needs to be addressed right away. In these cases, there is usually a serious level of effort put forth by the auto manufacturer to contact all owners of the affected vehicles to let them know that there is a major safety recall in effect. This lets all current owners of vehicles with the problem safety issue know that they should take action right away. But what if your car is involved in a less serious recall

Cars and trucks that are involved in a less serious recall still need to be repaired, but the effort that auto makers put into letting the current owners know will be less than a major safety issue. For example, let's say that your car has a problem that involves a sticky trunk latch. If the problem is widespread enough, the manufacturer may decide that a recall is necessary. The recalled vehicles will have their trunk latches repaired free of charge by any dealer service department. The manufacturer will likely not make a huge effort to contact current owners of the affected vehicles. They will instead release a service bulletin to the dealer service departments letting them know that they will be reimbursed for repairing any defective trunk latches in affected vehicles. Sometimes the dealer service departments will pass this information on to all of their customers, but often it goes nowhere. 

So where can you look to see if there are any pending recalls on your car or truck? The best resource, by far, is the government agency in charge of recalls, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, also known as NHTSA. They provide a link directly to the part of the site that lists your vehicle. 

What is a recall? 

Sometimes a vehicle will turn out to have a serious problem that affects a large percentage of the cars or trucks produced for a certain period of time. For example, a certain model built between 2012 and 2014 may have brake rotors that were manufactured using a lower than acceptable grade of steel. As a result, a large number of these brake rotors began to warp from heat over time. So many have warped, in fact, that it becomes obvious to the car manufacturer that it's just a matter of time before most of the brake rotors in the affected date range become warped. Instead of forcing their loyal customers to foot the bill, a car or truck maker will issue a recall. This recall will offer to repair any cars or trucks in that year range by replacing the brake rotors free of charge. 

What if my car has been recalled?

If you have discovered that your vehicle has an active recall, the best place for you to go would be the nearest dealer service department. While not always the best choice for routine repairs, the service department will be the easiest and most efficient place to have your recall work done. They will be able to look up your Vehicle Identification Number to tell you whether your vehicle is affected.