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Not sure if your vehicle has an open recall, or can’t get a straight answer from some of the third-party sites? We’re happy to help! We’ve got access to data that many of them don’t. Just fill out this quick form below, and our Guest Services team will let you know if you’ve got one. And if you do, they’ll help you get it scheduled to have the recall taken care of, free of charge to you.
In 2019, approximately 53 million vehicles were recalled due to safety or malfunctioning equipment in the United States, according to Statista.com. In 2016, the number peaked at nearly 90 million cars, so at present, it appears to be trending downward. However, when you compare 2019 to 2000 when the number was just under 25 million, we see the number of vehicles affected by recall doubling.
Any way you slice it, that’s a lot of vehicles. Having your vehicle pop up on a recall list should cause concern. You shouldn’t panic, but you should have the recalled part replaced. Unfortunately, many people don’t know what to do. That’s why we put together this page, to help our customers find solutions. Whether it’s a GMC recall check, Chevrolet recall check, or Buick recall check, we have the process covered.
What Is a Recall?
When a car manufacturer issues a recall on a specific vehicle, drivers of that vehicle should be concerned. Recalls often occur due to a defect affecting safety or perhaps a part of your car failing to meet federal safety standards. Even though you’re justified in being concerned over the recall, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t operate your car safely. It only means the manufacturer uncovered an issue and voluntarily recalled the vehicle or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has documented multiple incidents of a specific failure or problem with a car.
No matter who initiates the recall, the automaker must notify vehicle owners of the issue and offer them the opportunity to bring their car in for repair. Recalls don’t require the entire vehicle to be replaced, only the specific part and the area affected by the failure.
What Triggers a Recall?
Manufacturers issue recalls when one of their cars or its equipment or ancillary parts, including tires, fails to meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. Recalls can also stem from a safety defect found somewhere on or in the vehicle. All safety-related parts on or in your car must meet minimum performance standards. These parts include your vehicle’s air bags, headlights, tires, brakes, seat belts, steering columns, car seats, and many more. These standards apply to all cars and their components manufactured domestically or imported to the United States and sold here.
Typical recalls carry one of two primary designations. You have safety-related and non-safety-related recalls. A safety-related recall means a part of your vehicle or its equipment poses a risk to vehicle or passenger safety. This could affect a group of cars with the same design, manufacturer, or parts. Safety-related defects can happen anywhere in your car. Some common safety defects involve the failure of steering components. This failure usually results in at least partial loss of control of the vehicle and could result in total loss of control.
Other common occurrences include a gas pedal that sticks or breaks, posing a safety risk. Defective wheels that crack or break and wiring systems that cause lighting systems to fail or start a fire also commonly occur. However, the failure doesn’t always lead to loss of vehicle control to meet recall standards. For instance, a failed windshield wiper motor or assembly poses a safety risk due to an obstructed view. Likewise, failing seats or seatbacks can cause an unsafe situation but not necessarily cause you to lose control of your car.
Basically, any vital vehicle component that fails, breaks, separates, or breaks down that could cause loss of control or injury to passengers or others qualifies as a safety-related recall.
Non-safety-related recalls apply to any defects related to parts on a vehicle that don’t pose an inherent safety risk. These defects could involve electronic dysfunctions affecting radios, infotainment systems, and air conditioners. Defects in this category could also lead to more frequent wear to parts such as exhaust systems, batteries, shocks, and more. Even poor paint quality, premature rusting, and other blemishes could cause a recall.
How a Car Recall Works
First, you’ll receive a letter from the manufacturer via mail. The letter will detail the defect and include any potential risks that could occur as a result. Manufacturers must also include any possible injuries, the warning signs of failure, and how they plan to fix the issue. You’ll receive a timeline for when you can take your vehicle in for repair, as well as how long the repair should take and what your next step will be, which typically involves scheduling the repair with your local dealership.
Rest assured, you won’t have to pay for these repairs provided your vehicle’s recall was issued by the NHTSA or voluntarily through the manufacturer. However, you must bring your car to an authorized dealership for the responsible manufacturer, not your corner mechanic. If an authorized dealership tries to charge you for recall repairs for some reason, you should contact the manufacturer directly or the NHTSA.
In addition, if the repairs didn’t address the situation and the problem persists, you should request the authorized dealer to do the repairs again. If the dealership refuses or the subsequent repairs don’t resolve the issue, you should contact the NHTSA. They oversee all safety recalls ensuring that every manufacturer complies. The NHTSA requires the manufacturer provides a safe and successful remedy, free of charge.
How Do You Check if Your Car Has a Recall?
The NHTSA has an online recall search engine you can use for free, and it’s easy to use. You simply enter your vehicle identification number, and the system will produce your results. Or, you can bring your vehicle to #1 Cochran and have one of our service center technicians run a search on your car.
If you discover a recall, we recommend addressing the issue as soon as possible. While many recalls don’t pose a significant immediate risk, you should take any safety-related case seriously. Ignoring the problem could cause a breakdown or result in injury.
If you’re looking to purchase a used vehicle in the Youngstown area, we invite you to explore our inventory online. We have an expansive inventory of late-model cars, trucks, and SUVs with low mileage and priced to suit any budget. In addition, we give every used vehicle on our lot a multi-point inspection to ensure quality. At #1 Cochran, we also conduct our recall search and make the necessary repairs before putting a car up for sale. When you buy a used car from us, you’ll drive away with confidence, knowing you’ve purchased a quality used vehicle.