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What Do I Do About an Auto Recall?

Posted by: In: Auto Repair, Auto Repair from a Woman's Perspective 27 Jul 2015 Comments: 0

How to Deal With an Auto Recall

Auto Maintenance Tips for Busy Moms by Rx Auto Repair 630-443-8500


If you watch the news at all, then you’ve probably seen announcements of car manufacturers issuing recalls, sometimes affecting millions of vehicles. For many St. Charles area residents, there could be a sense of fear that your vehicle is now unsafe to drive. To help with this fear, it’s important to understand what a recall is and what you need to do should you receive a recall notice.

What a Auto Recall Is

Essentially, a recall is a formal announcement that there is a manufacturer defect with a certain range of vehicles, most commonly isolated to specific years or location where the car was produced. Despite extensive testing, even the best-designed vehicles can have common unforeseen problems before they leave the factory. A recall is most commonly organized by the manufacturer but can also be done by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, who records customer complaints and investigates common issues.

Don’t Panic about Recalls

When you first hear about a recall or receive a recall notice, there’s no need to be terribly alarmed. In the very rare cases that the defect is very dangerous, a separate public announcement will be made and it will be a very big deal. Assuming you just received a notice in the mail like most people, all it means is that you’ll need to take your vehicle into the dealership to have the problem addressed. The notice will let you know which dealership should service your car and the start date when they will first begin the repairs. You should never be charged for a recall and if you made a similar repair before the recall, most manufacturers will refund the price of the service that was paid.

The Best Approach

Instead of getting flustered about the recall, the best way to deal with it is to simply call the dealership that will be providing the repair and schedule a time to bring your vehicle in. To avoid the rush, make the appointment for several days after the recall start date. In addition to escaping from long lines and wait times, this method also gives dealership technicians a chance to get more proficient with the repair before servicing your vehicle.

The Used Car Situation

Like many other people in the St. Charles area, there’s a decent chance that you didn’t buy your vehicle new from a dealership. If that’s the case, then you have two options for finding out about recalls. The first (and more difficult one) is to regularly call the NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236 or visit their website to search for your model’s recall information. The second (and better) option is to call the car manufacturer whenever you buy a new vehicle and register with them. That way, any time a recall happens, they’ll send the standard snail mail notice. You can also register at for notification from NHTSA.

Recalls may be important news items, but they are actually quite easy to handle. When you bring your car to Rx Auto Service in St. Charles, we’ll be sure to remind you about any relevant recalls that may affect your particular model.

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