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How Do I Know if My Car Is Recalled, and What Do I Do Next?

by on July 20, 2016 » Add the first comment.

Vehicle recalls often make the national news, and they’re happening at a higher rate than usual. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 22 million vehicles were involved in recalls in 2014 alone. Big names like GM and Toyota have been involved in massive recalls in the past few years. How do you know if your car is subject to recall, and what are your next steps?

If you or a loved one is injured in an accident caused by a recalled vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Little Rock auto accident lawyer ASAP!

Recognizing a Recall

If you purchased your car new, you should receive a recall notice in the mail. Manufacturers are required to notify you by mail of a recall. If you purchased a car used, check to see if it’s eligible by visiting The easiest way to check for a recall is to search by your vehicle’s VIN. You can find this on your dash or the driver’s side doorjamb.

If your car is subject to recall, don’t panic. Most recalls are voluntary, meaning manufacturers issue a recall because there might be a problem—not necessarily because there is one. A recall may occur when a car of your model, even a similar one, fails to meet federal safety standards or may have a defect. Most automakers will issue a recall before one is mandated by the NHTSA, but not always.

I Got a Recall Notice. What Should I Do?

A recall notice should tell you a few basic things:

-Your car is defective in some way.
-The defect puts you at risk in some way (for example, tires that fail to meet federal safety standards may be more likely to blow at fast speeds).
-You should bring your car in to a dealer for repairs.
-The repairs come at no cost to you.

The last one is perhaps the most important. According to a mandate set in the 1970s, you can’t be charged for the recall and replacement of a defective product part. The exception to this rule is used cars that are more than 10 years old and cars that have already had the defective part replaced as of the recall. If you’ve already replaced the defective part, you may qualify for reimbursement, but act quickly (within 10 days of the recall notice).

Call the Dealership

Your recall notice will likely list the closest dealership to you for repairs. While this may be the most convenient option, you’re not obligated to use that particular dealership for repairs. Just ensure the manufacturer is the same as the car you drive (if you bought a Chevy, take it to a Chevy dealership).

Take the vehicle in to a dealership within the appropriate timeframe, which should be listed on the recall notice. This is usually 60 days, but it may differ based on the scope of the recall. Make an appointment for repairs as soon as you receive the notice.

In the event that the recall affects a safety-related part, the recall notice may tell you to stop driving the car immediately. Although this is uncommon, they’ll pay for towing to the nearest dealership and may even give you a loaner car until yours is repaired.

Have You Been Affected by a Vehicle Recall?

Car manufacturers are required by law to keep their products safe for consumers. If they fail to exercise reasonable care or properly warn consumers of potential defects, they’ve committed negligence. If you’ve been injured as the result of that negligence, you may have the legal grounds for a personal injury insurance claim. To see if you qualify, contact our office for a free initial consultation. One of our associates will review your case and advise you of your next steps. An experienced personal injury attorney in Little Rock, AR at the Law Office of Thomas G. Buchanan will help you fight for the compensation you deserve. 

Find more like this: Car Accidents, Defective Products, Helpful Articles, Safety

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