When a specific model is recalled, not even used car dealerships will offer a trade-in without substantive repairs. Keeping the car poses a distinct danger to public safety, but taking it to the landfill or junkyard destroys what was supposed to be a valuable investment. What is an automotive recall, and how do those saddled with a dangerous or poorly manufactured vehicle cope?
What is an Automotive Recall?
Manufacturers issue a recall in order to let consumers know that their products carry a vital defect. These defects often threaten the safety of the driver or the performance of the vehicle. After a defect is discovered, the manufacturer has 60 days to notify registered owners that have bought the model through a letter. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can sue manufacturers who fail to notify their customers that their products are unsafe. Thanks to these measures, unsafe vehicles are quickly identified and removed from the roadways before any accidents occur.
What Happens After the Recall?
The manufacturer can perform free maintenance on unsafe models to correct the issue, but it is up to the consumer to bring their car in for repair. Manufacturers are not required to follow up on the product retraction, so it is important for vehicle owners to take the initiative. Bring the vehicle to nearby dealerships that sell the same brand of car. All new and used car dealerships that carry that brand are required by law to provide free repairs, so any dealer you visit should already be up to speed on the nature of the recall and the issue that needs to be fixed.
Vehicles can be recalled at any time before their model is ten years old, and some vehicle owners may order repairs before manufacturers discover the defect. If you had repairs done before the recall, the automaker should reimburse your expenses. The consumer, however, must pay for additional repairs not included in the recall.
Can I Check the Status of a Recall?
Only franchised dealers are required to perform full recall repairs. Used cars may not always have the recall repairs completed before they are sold to a new owner. Before buying an automobile, consumers are recommended to use the vehicle identification number (VIN) to check the model’s history. If it contains a note of a manufacturer recall, the vehicle owner must follow up with use car dealerships to make sure the car is up to date.
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