Everything You Need to Know About Auto Safety Recalls
In 2017, the automotive industry recalled 74% more vehicles than it delivered to consumers. A whopping 30.7 million vehicles were recalled, while only 17.6 million new vehicles were sold.
While these numbers may seem stifling, auto recalls hit a four-year low in 2017. 2016 saw 53 million recalls, although many are (and continue to be) attributed to the Takata airbag defects.
Whether it’s an issue with an airbag, door latches, seat belts, or car batteries, it’s important to address the issue immediately if your vehicle is recalled.
What Are Auto Safety Recalls?
An automotive safety recall is required when a motor vehicle or a part of the vehicle’s equipment does not comply with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard or when there is a safety-related defect in the vehicle or equipment.
Safety-related recalls might include:
- Steering components that break suddenly causing partial or complete loss of vehicle control
- Problems with fuel system components that could result in gas leaking and possibly cause a vehicle to catch fire if in an accident
- Accelerator controls that may break or stick
- Tires cracking or breaking, resulting in loss of driving control
- Engine cooling fan blades that unexpectedly break causing injury to a mechanic
- Windshield wipers not functioning properly
- Seats and/or seat backs that fail unexpectedly during normal use
- Important vehicle components that break, fall apart, or separate from the vehicle, causing possible loss of vehicle control and injury
- Wiring system problems that result in a fire or loss of lighting
- Car ramps or jacks that may collapse and cause injury to a mechanic or the vehicle’s owner
- Airbags that deploy under conditions in which they are not intended to deploy
If a safety issue is discovered, the vehicle’s manufacturer must file a public report describing the safety-related defect or noncompliance with a Federal motor vehicle safety standard, the involved vehicle/equipment population, the hazard that resulted in the recall decision, a description of the solution, when the service for repair will be available, and how long the repair will take.
Here’s an alarming fact: according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly one-third of recall notices mailed to vehicle owners are ignored.
Flaws related to the following are not considered safety-related and would not be covered by the manufacturer or Safety Act:
- Radios or the air conditioning system not working correctly
- Equipment that needs routine maintenance or replacement periodically like shocks, car batteries, brake pads or exhaust systems
- Bodywork like rust, a paint job or other cosmetic imperfections
What to Do if Your Vehicle Gets Recalled
If you receive a letter from your vehicle’s manufacturer notifying you of a safety recall, please contact your dealer as soon as possible to arrange for the recall repair.
If you’re worried you may be a part of that 33% of drivers who have either missed or ignored a recall notice, you can log on to safercar.gov and search using your VIN number — vehicle identification number. You can also enter your vehicle’s make, model, and year to see if there are any open recalls. For additional information on recalls on your specific vehicle, please visit http://www.recalls.gov/nhtsa.html.
Stay Safe on the Road With Virginia Tire & Auto
At Virginia Tire & Auto, our expert mechanics are thoroughly trained to help identify safety recalls. We prioritize staying on top of the latest technology and continually invest in top-notch equipment and quality training for our employees.
From our general service technicians to our service and store managers, the team at Virginia Tire & Auto is here to help make the auto safety recall process easier and less stressful.