What to Do When Your Car Has a Recall


This post is part of a sponsored series. 

When you hear that there is a certain type of recall on our vehicle, it means that there is a safety-related issue in your vehicle that does not meet federal safety standards. Here is what this Wisconsin Chevrolet dealer tells us to do in the situation of a vehicle recall.

How to find out if your car is affected

First, you’ll likely have gotten a call or letter in the mail from your vehicle manufacturer in the event of a recall. With this information in hand, you’ll want to schedule the appointment to address the manufacturer recall with your local dealership.

If you haven’t received a phone call or a letter, but have heard your vehicle model may be affected, you can visit the NHTSA’s site, https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls with your VIN number to confirm if your vehicle is part of the recall or not.

Who pays for the repairs?

Most of the time, on a vehicle recall, the manufacturer pays to have the issue fixed. Sometimes if your vehicle is over 10 years old, you may be required to pay for the expense out of pocket. It’s wise to ask about this when you bring it in for service if you think that may be the case with your vehicle.

If you have already made the repairs prior to the recall, you may be eligible for reimbursement from the manufacturer. However you need to be quick about contacting them after a recall notice has been issued, because you only have 10 days to act once the recall issued for them to determine if you are eligible or not.

How long will it take?

Most of the time, for minor recalls, the downtime is minimal. However in bigger cases (like that of the GM ignition switch years back) it can create a longer waiting list and ultimately longer wait times for you to get the vehicle fixed.

It is important to have the vehicle serviced however, as down the line, when you go to sell your vehicle, it will show up that a recall notice was ignored. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

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