My Car Has Been Recalled – Now What?

Here’s What to Do When Your Vehicle Has Been Recalled

We’ve all been there – the dreaded envelope slips through the door saying that our vehicle has been recalled. When you depend on your vehicle every day, it can be disconcerting when you learn about a safety issue. Knowing what your options are and what steps you should take may make this process less hectic and help put your mind at ease.


A car recall occurs when the manufacturer determines that the vehicle in question no longer meets car safety standards. A recall can be placed on a car for either the vehicle itself or specific parts that are meant to make the vehicle run effectively and efficiently. Common recalls are for airbags, fuel systems, wiring, and steering columns that don’t work properly.

How do I know if my car is recalled?

Generally, there are two ways that a driver can find out if their car has been recalled:

  • Car companies will notify car owners through a letter, notifying them of the recall within 60 days
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Punch in your VIN number to see if there are any outstanding recalls on your vehicle.

What happens next?

If your vehicle has been recalled for whatever reason, the manufacturer will either refund, replace, or repair the issue in question. In most cases, you will need to book your car in at one of their listed auto shops for the work to be complete. Typically, you will not be required to pay.

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