Vehicle recalls happen when a manufacturer or the government determines that a car has a safety defect. Recalls rarely mean that a car will be replaced, but often the repairs needed to fix or replace the defect may be covered at the manufacturer’s expense.
If there is a recall on your vehicle the manufacturer is required to send a letter to all owners of that particular vehicle. The mailing addresses they use are generally those that come from the DMV or where the car is registered, so it’s important to keep your mailing address updated when you register your vehicle each year.
If you purchased a used vehicle, you can check the NHTSA’s website for recalls as you may not receive a letter if it had already been sent to a previous owner. The recall letter or information provided by the NHTSA will include what the next steps are in handling the recall. Normally the information will have you make contact with the closest dealer that services your make of car to set up repairs.
Please note that a safety recall does not mean that driving your vehicle will place you in immediate danger. Generally it is safe to continue to use the vehicle until it can be taken in for repairs. However, the severity of the issue will be listed in the letter or on the NHTSA’s website, and that should be your first indication of how immediate the repairs are needed. Of course it’s best not to tempt fate, so if there is a recall of any sort on your vehicle it should be taken in for repairs as soon as it possibly can be.
Another item of note is that any recalls that have not been repaired appropriately may affect your car insurance rates, as a safety defect can raise the liability for which you are responsible if an injury or accident occurs. To be sure that the recall won’t affect your insurance premiums, it is best to contact Bob Johnson Insurance as soon as you receive the recall notice for recommendations about what should be done.