Every week there’s a new recall in the news, and it seems that no auto retailer has gone unpunished for some minor or major manufacturing defect that has put its customers at risk. Problems and safety concerns have been discovered with everything from airbags to brakes to backup cameras, and sometimes entire vehicles have been recalled. Whether your vehicle is new or old, it’s important that you know when a safety issue arises, and the steps you can take to get your car fixed. Here are some tips for keeping up on and dealing with recalls.

Where to start:

  • Search for your vehicle: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains a database of all safety recalls. You can find out if there are any recalls on your vehicle by entering your VIN number on the website: www.nhtsa.gov/recalls.
  • Stay up to date: If there is a recall, companies may use your car registration information to notify you, according to Consumer Reports. So make sure your address and information are correct. You should also register your vehicle with the manufacturer, especially if you own a used car or have moved to another state. Lastly, sign up for email notices through NHTSA or download the Safecar app to keep track of alerts.
  • Report problems:. Recall investigations are conducted when multiple people report issues with a certain part or vehicle to the NHTSA. So if your car has a defective part, report it.
  • Save receipts: If you had something repaired and it turns out the manufacturer was at fault, you may be able to get a reimbursement, so keep good records and be sure to save all of your receipts.

What to do if there’s a recall on your vehicle:

First, contact the dealer and find out if your car is safe to drive. If not, they may provide you with a rental car or a loaner until your car can be repaired. The dealer can also tell you what steps you need to take to have the problem verified and fixed.

What you should know:

  • Recall fixes are free: If the NHTSA finds enough evidence to issue an official safety recall, then it’s up to the manufacturer to fix the problem and pay for it.
  • Don’t wait: Often, issues only come to light after one or more people are seriously harmed. If there is a recall on your vehicle, don’t delay getting it repaired. Take recalls seriously, and get your car fixed, right away.

Recalls happen regularly, and while dealing with them can be a pain in the neck, it’s important and worth it. Take steps to stay updated and to keep your automobile updated and safe.

For any auto insurance questions, call or contact Johnson Pohlmann Insurance today.