Millions of car models get recalled every year, and that includes older models since sometimes it can take years for a defect to make itself obvious. In some cases it takes this long because the company thinks it can get away with doing nothing and hoping no one will notice the problem. However, they get found out eventually, because if regulators don’t catch them they’ll get exposed by personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits brought against them by their customers.
If it seems like car recalls are more common today, it’s because of a few reasons:
• Vehicles are much more complex and sophisticated than ever, and that means more chances for bugs in the software and poorly designed parts.
• A recent series of mandatory recalls, scandals, and government fines have made automakers more likely to issue recalls instead of ignoring problems.
• The biggest scandal, the Takata air bag recall, is still ongoing and millions of vehicles from a dozen manufacturers are joining the recall list every year. Millions more are still waiting for a replacement since the replacement parts are in short supply.
People often don’t bring their vehicles in for recall repairs, and that’s not just because the Takata parts are hard to find. They might not know their car has a problem because they aren’t the first owner and a third-party dealership doesn’t have to make the repair, or it might have been a few years since a vehicle was last at a dealership. They also might not have the time to spare to bring their car in for a lengthy repair visit. However, there are a few good reasons to go in for a recall notice even so.
• It’s free. Every single recall repair is made at the expense of the manufacturer, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.
• Every fix improves your vehicle. Whether the issue is safety or functionality, when you bring a vehicle in for a recall visit you’re fixing a problem you didn’t know you had.
• Many dealerships have shuttles and loaner cars you can use to get around town while your vehicle is in the shop. Even if they don’t, they’ll know a rental car service nearby where you can get the wheels you need to go about your day.
• When you get a recall notice but don’t take your vehicle in, you’re responsible if you get into an accident and the defective part breaks. You might still get money from the company since it’s their product that failed, but it will be much less since you could have fixed the problem but chose not to.
Recall notices can be a pain, but you owe it to yourself and your vehicle to bring it in for a recall repair. It’s the safe thing to do, it’s free, and it won’t disrupt your schedule if you can plan around your visit..