If Your Car is Recalled, Find Out Fast and Fix It

If Your Car is Recalled, Find Out Fast and Fix It

Mechanic making a repair under a car hood

Safety recalls happen—and they happen fairly regularly. In fact, auto manufacturers recalled a record number of cars in recent years. Knowing how to handle vehicle safety recalls can help protect your family.

Question: Who issues safety recalls?
Answer: The NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) or auto manufacturers.

Question: How will I know if my vehicle has been recalled?
Answer: Manufacturers must alert the NHTSA and affected drivers, dealers, and distributors. You should receive a letter from the manufacturer that details the recall and outlines instructions for having it repaired.

Question: What if I'm not the car's original owner?
Answer: If you drive a used car, the manufacturer may not have record of your ownership, and you may not receive a recall letter. Visit the ODI's online database to search for recalls. The NHTSA now also requires manufacturers to provide access to a free online tool that uses vehicle identification numbers to determine whether a specific car has been recalled and if it's been repaired.

Question: Where should I go to have my car fixed? How much will it cost?
Answer: Visit your dealer or mechanic to have the problem corrected. You shouldn't be charged. However, if your tires have been recalled, you'll have only 60 days after receiving the letter for a complimentary repair.

Question: I'm concerned about a problem I'm experiencing with my vehicle. What should I do?
Answer: Have any problems fixed immediately; don't wait for a recall letter. You also can file safety concerns with the ODI or call the Department of Transportation's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-800-424-9393. Your report helps the ODI investigate safety issues and determine whether a recall is necessary.

Want to know more? The NHTSA has additional information about safety recalls on its website.


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The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.