Do you have questions about vehicle recalls? We have answers.

Auto recalls are a part of the auto industry. Sometimes, a little fine tuning is what a vehicle needs to be safe on the roads again. Thousands of new cars have been recalled in the past few years, but when a recall notice lands on your doormat, you may have a lot of questions about the process of recalls. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of FAQ about vehicle recalls – along with the answers that you need.

What is a car recall?
An auto recall happens when the manufacturer or NHTSA determines that a car model (or several) has a safety-related defect, or that does not comply with the federal safety standard. When this happens, the automaker alerts the owners to the problem and is typically offered a free repair.

When is a recall necessary?
Commonly, it is necessary when:

  • A motor vehicle or equipment (including tires) does not comply with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard.
  • There is a safety-related defect in the vehicle or equipment.

How will I be notified?
Car companies are required to send letters to customers affected by the recall. You can also stay up to date with recalls by visiting the NHTSA’s website here. The letter will describe the problem, potential warning signs, the risk and instructions on what you should do next.

Does the safety recall mean I should stop driving my car?
While you may not need to stop driving your car, if you learn that your car has been recalled, it’s best not to take the risk and keep driving it without getting the necessary repairs. Get your car fixed as soon as possible.

How can I report a safety problem to the NHTSA?
If you think your vehicle or equipment have a safety defect, reporting it to NHTSA is an important first step to take to get the situation remedied and make the roads safer! You can either call the Vehicle Safety Hotlinefile a complaint, or send a letter by mail.

Do I have to pay for the repair?
If your car is on the NHTSA’s car recall list, all recall-related fixes should be done free of charge. You’ll need to take your car to an authorized dealer since they contract directly with the manufacturer.

Maintaining your car safety is a lot more than following up on recall notices. Find out what auto insurance you should have to keep your vehicle, finances and family safe by contacting Tompkins Insurance Agencies today.