Finding out your car has been recalled can be a scary and frustrating thing. You may worry your car is now dangerous, and it will also be a headache to deal with getting a fix or a new car. However, there are a few things to know if this happens to you. The professionals from Altra Insurance Services, a leading provider of auto and homeowners insurance San Diego residents trust for high-quality service and peace of mind, offer this advice about auto recalls.
How Often Does This Happen?
In 2016, a record 53.2 million vehicles were recalled, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A recall may not apply to an entire vehicle but instead a range of other items, such as tires, air bags, brakes, or internal parts.
How Will I Know if This Is Something I Have to Deal with?
If there’s any part of a car under recall, the car’s manufacturer is required to notify any vehicle owner or any dealer who sells the car. The notification sent offers steps for what to do, including whether or not you should immediately stop driving the vehicle. The correspondence, usually via mail, will tell you where to take the car for repair. Usually, you’ll need to bring your car to a dealership for the particular make or model. Smaller auto body shops simply aren’t equipped to service the issue the way a dealer can. If your car is more than 10 years old, you may have to pay for the repairs yourself, but the fixes are usually covered. Your car’s state registration information helps manufacturers find the most current owner, so it’s very important to keep your paperwork up to date, especially if you bought your car from an individual who owned the car previously. If a recall happens, you’ll want to make sure you’re the one who is contacted.
What if I Saw a Recall Elsewhere for My Vehicle but I Haven’t Been Contacted?
Recall notifications usually happen via mail, but sometimes you can check online to see if your car falls under a recall. If you recently purchased a used vehicle, the records may not be up to date when the recall notices are sent, so it’s good to check. Most manufacturers have online tools to check on recalls based on make and model. You can also check via your vehicle identification number (VIN) or sign up for email notifications at nhtsa.gov/recalls.
Recall notices may seem scary, but it’s an important thing to take care of for your own safety. Some owners ignore the notices, but this could create problems if you sell your vehicle. The most logical thing to do is contact the dealer as soon as you can if your car is recalled.
Not having your car repaired if it’s under recall can increase your risk of getting into an accident, so don’t put it off, for your protection and the safety of other drivers. Another form of crucial protection is that provided by reliable auto insurance. San Diego drivers can rely on the high-quality service from Altra Insurance Services. If you need affordable, dependable insurance, give us a call today at 619-474-6666.