Vehicle Safety Recalls: What You Need to Know?

Thousands of product recalls are announced every year. Auto manufacturer, Ford, recently recalled a faulty transmission component in 1.5 million vehicles. The gears could unexpectedly downshift in some of the F-150 model pickup trucks. Some Lincoln model sedans are also affected. The issue could potentially cause drivers to lose control of the vehicle while in motion. What should you do when you hear news about a vehicle recall that affects your car or truck?

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration mandates auto manufacturers alert owners regarding any faulty device or product. Expect a written notification regarding the vehicular issue to be mailed to the home address of potentially affected owners.

Here are a few things to remember:

  • If it’s less than 10, the repair is free. Free repairs only apply if the vehicle was initially purchased new. Ten years is the maximum time frame for vehicle recalls. For example, if a recall is announced in 2018, affected vehicle models will have manufacturer dates between 2009 and 2018.
  • READ the fine print. All repairs must be completed within a specific amount of time. Don’t assume you have an unlimited amount of time to get those faulty devices repaired or replaced.
  • Keep all repair related paperwork! If a manufacturer and the NHTSA disagree about a potential vehicle recall, the manufacturer can petition the discrepancy for court resolution. This process could take several months. Any repairs made during a legal appeal is the owner’s responsibility; however, the auto manufacturer may reimburse those out-of-pocket expenses if the court rules in favor of the NHTSA.
  • Wait patiently. If the manufacturer has identified a problem for a recall but has not found a solution yet, all the owner can do is wait until a safe fix has been identified.

Use the NHTSA’s search tool to see if any possible safety recalls exist on your vehicle. Simply enter the vehicle identification number (VIN#) and check out the search results.