Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launches more and more automobile recalls. Unless car owners are on top of recall news they may miss their vehicle recalls and worse an accident may happen because of them. These auto accidents can lead to personal injury or a person being liable for others injuries.
No one wants to be injured or involved in a lawsuit. That’s why we decided to put this easy guide together to help drivers prevent accidents.
1- When Buying a New or Used Car, Ask the Right Questions
By law, auto dealers cannot sell new vehicles without fixing recalls. However, there is no law prohibiting the sale of used cars with unaddressed recalls. This puts the buyer at risk. So the first thing you should do when buying a car is to ask dealers about any and all open recalls. If a dealer’s answer doesn’t satisfy you, do not worry you can do the research pretty easily yourself.
2- Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Website
Search for “NHTSA website” however you like to search the internet, and the site will come right up. The NHTSA website has an option where you can enter the VIN number of the vehicle you are concerned with and will give you a detailed list of past and open recalls impacting that particular car.
From there you can wither schedule a visit to a dealer for repair or, in the case of the used car for sale, you may decide to not get the vehicle. You can always buy it and have it repaired as soon as possible, as well.
3 – Remember that not all recalls are the same.
There are many different reasons for a recall so sometimes, automakers don’t have enough replacement parts for the fix and may need some time before the repair can be handled. Other recalls require simple fixes or software updates, and others will only require an updated manual.
If you are buying the car and depending on the severity of the recall, you might want to reconsider buying it in the first place.
4 – Update Your Contact Info with the Auto Manufacturer
Automotive manufacturers must contact car owners that are affected by recalls by mail whenever they launch a new recall. So basically, if the automaker doesn’t have your updated contact information, you will never see a notice in the mail. Updating your info with the manufacturer is as easy as contacting their customer service department at your nearest dealership.