What is a Car Recall and How Does it Affect Me?

Understand auto recalls and what they mean for you.

When you select a car, you expect it to be reliable and safe.  This is why having your car recalled is so concerning and shocking.  If your car has been recalled by the manufacturer, you may be at a loss for what to do.  Here’s what you should know to understand auto recalls.

What is a Recall?

A recall occurs when a car manufacturer determines that a certain vehicle does not meet current safety standards.  Recalls can be placed on the car itself or on a specific part of the car.  For instance, commonly recalled parts include the following:

  • Steering column (that doesn’t work effectively)
  • Accelerators (that stick)
  • Wiring (throughout the vehicle)
  • Airbags (that deploy improperly)
  • Fuel system (that is inefficient)

How Do You Find Out About Recalls?

There are two main ways that drivers learn about recalls.  First, car companies will notify customers through a mailed letter.  These notices are issued within 60 days of the recall being announced.  Second, car owners can actually check for recalls themselves through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  This department has a database of all recalls, and drivers can plug in their VIN numbers to see their car’s recall status.

What Happens When Your Car Has Been Recalled?

If your car has been recalled, then the auto manufacturer is legally obligated to do something about it.  This means they are responsible for refunding, replacing, or repairing your car.  It’s also important to understand that recalls do not have a set expiration date.  Oftentimes a recall remains in effect until the vehicle or faulty parts are no longer made, or the manufacturer is no longer in business.  Obviously, some recalls are more serious than others.  No matter the severity of the recall, you should take your car into the dealer or repair shop to have the issues addressed as soon as possible.

This is what you need to know to understand auto recalls.  Do you have other questions about your car, for instance, inquiries about your auto insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Mike Leonard Insurance Agency.  Our dedicated team is eager to find you the right coverage from one of our many carriers including: Kemper, MetLife, Nationwide, Travelers, The Hartford, Safeco Insurance, Progressive, and American Strategic Insurance.