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What to Do If Your Vehicle Has a Recall


Has your car been recalled? According to NHTSA, there were 813 new vehicle safety recalls in 2017. A total of more than 30 million vehicles were affected by recalls, but a quarter of them were never fixed. That leaves about 7.5 million faulty vehicles on the road.

Safety recalls can be issued for many reasons.

  • Millions of recalls have been issued due to faulty Takata airbags. According to Consumer Reports, the faulty airbags were used in cars from 19 different automakers.
  • Loose steering wheels that can come off while driving have led Ford to recall some of its vehicles. Automotive News reports that Hyundai also recently issued a recall over steering wheel issues.
  • Wiring problems that could spark a fire have caused 2018 Kia Stingers to be recalled, according to Consumer Reports.

Although many people won’t experience the problems first-hand, the possibilities are frightening. To protect yourself and your family – as well as anyone else who happens to be on the road with you – it’s important to take recalls seriously.

Determine Whether Your Car Has Been Recalled
Manufacturers send out notices to registered owners when vehicles are recalled. However, you might not get a notice for a variety of reasons. It could get lost in the mail, especially if you’ve moved. You might have mistaken the notice for junk mail and tossed it out.

The NHTSA recommends that people check whether their car has been recalled. To do this, you’ll need you 17-character VIN, which can be found on the lower left side of the windshield. Enter the VIN at the NHTSA recall website to see if there are any known issues.

What to Do If There Is a Recall
If your car has been recalled, you should take action immediately. Remember that even if the car seems fine, the recall would not have been issued if there weren’t serious safety concerns. Don’t take any risks.

  • Check with the manufacturer to see what their proposed solution is. 
  • Contact your local dealership to have the issue fixed. This should be completed at no cost to you.

Staying Informed

If a new recall is issued for your vehicle, you want to know as soon as possible. In addition to checking for recalls twice a year, the NHTSA recommends registering your vehicle, as well as your tires, equipment and child seats. You can also sign up for the NHTSA’s recall email subscription.

If you’ve noticed a safety issue but there is not an active recall, you can file a complaint with the NHTSA. You’ll need to supply the make, model and year of the vehicle, as well as the VIN and any documentation related to the complaint.