Have You Checked For Recalls Lately?
It may be tempting to ignore that recall notice, but it can be a deadly mistake. According to recent reports, there are millions of vehicles currently on the road that are under recall for a variety of reasons. Ignoring a recall warning is not only dangerous but can jeopardize a later claim for damages if you are injured due to a car’s malfunction. Fortunately, checking for recalls on your vehicle does not have to be difficult.
What Is A Recall?
A recall is an order issued by a car manufacturer or government agency to return a vehicle for service due to an inherent defect. In the past few years, stricter standards and enforcement of regulations have led to record numbers of recalls by auto manufacturers. In addition, owner complaints have risen drastically as consumers become aware of the dangers of safety issues in their vehicles through increasingly available information on the Internet.
Unfortunately, many owners do not take recalls seriously. Experts at J.D. Power estimate that 40 percent of all vehicles subject to recalls between 2013 and 2015 have not been repaired. That means that 45 million vehicles that should have been serviced for safety issues are still on the roads and may pose a hazard for owners and others.
Why Don’t Owners Have Their Cars Repaired?
Analyzing the data related to car repairs and recalls reveals some interesting trends. Owners of older cars are less likely to pay attention to recall notices.
While owners of vehicles manufactured in 2013 or later have a 73 percent compliance rate with recall notifications, those with vehicles older than 2013 have only a 44 percent compliance rate. Additionally, recall notices may not reach owners who have purchased cars secondhand.
The type of vehicle in question may also affect the recall compliance rate. Large vans and premium SUVs have about 85 percent owner compliance, while only 31 percent of sports car owners pay attention to recall notices.
Additionally, the larger the recall the harder it seems to be to obtain owner compliance. For recalls affecting more than one million vehicles, the compliance rate is much lower than for smaller, more targeted recalls. This could also be because parts quickly run out during large recalls, making it more difficult for owners to schedule service.
Finally, the part of the car that is concerned in the recall can have an impact on owner compliance rate. Drivetrain and electrical recalls are taken more seriously than air bag or suspension recalls.
How Do I Know If My Car Is Recalled?
It is extremely important to take any recall on your vehicle seriously and seek immediate repair or replacement service. In order to do this, however, it is important to understand how to find information on your vehicle and how to obtain recall repairs.
First, visit SaferCars.gov. Enter the VIN number of your vehicle, located on your owner’s registration card, the inside door panel or on a tag located on your dashboard. This will immediately let you know if your car is subject to any recall.
If there is an unresolved recall issue, your manufacturer must make the repair free of charge. Call a local dealer for your make of car to schedule an appointment.