Maybe it’s a dangerous airbag, or a leak that could cause a fire or an electrical system that could shut down your vehicle while you drive – odds are good you or someone you know is driving a car or truck that is the subject of a recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is warning that 51 million vehicles had some sort of a recall in 2015. That follows the record 60 million recalls the year before. The scary part is that upwards of 25 percent of them never get fixed. That means millions of cars and trucks – maybe one driven by you or a loved one – are still on the road with a possible hazardous condition.
There are many reasons why drivers aren’t getting defective vehicles to a dealer or mechanic:
- They are not aware of the recall
- The time and cost involved
- They just don’t care
An industry analysis found that Fiat, Honda, Ford, Toyota and GM vehicles were involved in almost three-fourths of the recalls in 2015, with the biggest factor being the recall of Takata equipped airbags. However, others were for leaks that could start an engine fire, defects that could make the vehicle lose control while driving, or seats that could collapse in a crash.
Wouldn’t you like to know if a car or truck that your son or daughter was driving had a serious defect. NHTSA thinks it’s important and has launched a new “Safe Cars Save Lives” campaign urging everyone to check for recalls twice a year. They hope the effort will reduce the number of unsafe vehicles on the road and ultimately save lives.
The website to check if a vehicle you drive has a recall is
If you find a vehicle on the list that someone in your family drives, you should immediately:
- Contact the dealer and make an appointment to have the defect repaired
- Seek reimbursement if it was already repaired before you were notified of the recall (within a year); the automaker is obligated to reimburse you for the repair if it was done at one of its franchised dealers
- Submit work orders and a receipt for reimbursement if you had the repair done by an independent mechanic
The bad news is if ten years has gone by since the original recall notice, you might be stuck paying for the repairs yourself.
The good news is that driving a recalled vehicle shouldn’t affect your insurance rates, but you will want to get it fixed as soon as possible to make sure your family and other drivers around you are safe.
Another way to protect your vehicle and your precious passengers is to get an auto insurance policy comparison or review. Just call a California Casualty advisor today to make sure you are adequately covered at 1.800.800.9410 or visit www.calcas.com.
Sources for this article: