Dealing With Car Recalls

Posted by on May 12, 2012 | No Comments

Many a make or model of car has been recalled in the past few years and months. Just because you haven’t received a letter from your dealer, doesn’t mean your car is not affected by a mechanical issue. There are a number of things that you can do to make sure that you are driving a safe vehicle.

Your dealer, especially if it is well-known, could tell if your car is listed for recall assuming you bought it brand new. Now if your dealer has since closed shop, check with other dealers who sell the same brand. You can also go online to the manufacturer’s website where you will find information about the recall. However, manufacturer websites will inevitably have you course your complaint to the dealer.

If your car is on the recall list, that’s the time to set up an appointment for the repair. It would be more polite to schedule an appointment rather than just walking in. This gives the dealership time to order parts, staff accordingly, and ensure that they’re giving your vehicle enough time to make the repair. You just might fall asleep waiting if you walk in.

Next thing to do is to have all your ducks conveniently in a row – ask them how long the repair would take, if you would need to loan a car, and if the repair is going to cost you – it shouldn’t. You shouldn’t pay because it is their defect that led to the recall. Their fault, they pay. The dealership, though, may not be able to let you rent a car for free if the repairs would take one night or more. You should have other choices. One such option would be a shuttle service. A shuttle service would be able to drop by for you before work once you drop off the car, then return for you after work. Regardless if you wait, take the shuttle or rent a loaner, being without your car, even for a few hours is tough, so plan ahead.

If your car is on the recall list, treat this like any other business project and start a file. Dot the i’s and cross the t’s by compiling all essential paperwork. Any information that you find online, or emails that you receive from the manufacturer or dealer must be printed and saved. If you have any receipts or ballpark figures for the repair, keep them. I can’t repeat this enough – keep all paperwork regarding your car together in this file. This case would be all the artillery you need in case of a dispute.

So far, everything mentioned in this article applies to new cars. Double-check if your car is covered by the recall if you are driving an older model car. Don’t make your own assumptions because this is a very touchy matter. Also, different car models are recalled for different reasons. So before anything else, research is your best friend – do your homework and find out the how and the why of things first and foremost. You need to find out what the problem is, find out how your dealership or the manufacturer can fix it, and keep a file or a case relating to your vehicle’s repair situation.

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