I Received a Recall for my Car—What Do I Do?
At EuroCar Service, we repair and maintain some of the world’s best-made cars, including Audi, BMW, Fiat, Land Rover, Jaguar, Mercedes, MINI, Saab, Smart Car, Volkswagen, and Volvo. As well-engineered and manufactured as they are, even these vehicles sometimes have design or production issues. When a carmaker or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that a vehicle or its equipment poses a safety risk or does not meet motor vehicle safety standards, the NHTSA mandates that a recall must be issued.
The manufacturer then has 60 days to notify registered owners and purchasers by first class mail. This letter tells you what the issue is, how to get it fixed, the time frame for when the fix is available, how long the repair should take, and who to contact to get it fixed. Another crucial element to the letter is that it reminds owners that there should be no charge to correct the vehicle’s problem.
What Can Be Recalled?
Normal wear and tear are not covered under recalls. Generally, only defects that present a safety threat trigger NHTSA recalls. These can include:
- Malfunctioning steering equipment.
- Leaky fuel systems.
- Airbags that deploy improperly.
- Wiring issues that are potential fire hazards.
- Car jacks that could collapse.
- Accelerators that stick or malfunction.
What Do You Do When Your Car Is Recalled?
Once you receive notification about a recall, you should make it a priority to get it fixed. By law, your carmaker must choose one of three options for correcting the issue:
- Repair: The vehicle or part is repaired by the manufacturer at no cost to you.
- Replacement: If the problem cannot be fixed, the manufacturer provides you with another identical or similar vehicle.
- Refund: The manufacturer can choose to refund the purchase price of the vehicle, minus a reasonable amount for depreciation.
Remember, if you had already paid for repairs for a problem that is recalled, the NHTSA says you may also be able to get refunded for the cost of service. No matter the issue, if you think your vehicle is part of a safety recall, contact your manufacturer or service center right away to find out what your options are. The recall may simply be a precaution, or it might be an impending safety issue. Either way, it’s a good practice to get the repair done as soon as possible.
If you’re wondering about recalls on your vehicle, you can go to http://www.nhtsa.gov and search for your vehicle. Other resources include carfax.com, autobytel.com, and dmv.org. There are also sometimes less significant issues. Manufacturers issue Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) for these, which tell service centers how to repair a frequent or difficult problem.
Of course, we’ll let you know if there are issues with your vehicle, so make sure you bring it in regularly. EuroCar Service has earned a reputation as Seattle’s most dependable, accurate, and honest European automobile service facility. In addition to cutting edge maintenance and repair, we have provided high-level customer service since 1981. Call the experts at 206-527-8828 or schedule an appointment online today!