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What Should I do if My Car Was Recalled?

By Butler Prather LLP on September 15, 2021

The last thing that anybody wants to receive in the mail is a recall notice for their vehicle. However, recall are often misunderstood. Here, we want to discuss what steps you should take if you discover your car is facing a recall. In some cases, it is imperative that you act immediately to ensure that you do not get involved in an emergency caused by a faulty vehicle. In other situations, a recall may be for a relatively minor problem with the vehicle.

What Should I do if My Car Was Recalled?

How Will I Know if My Car is Recalled?

The last thing you likely expect is to discover that your vehicle has been recalled. Unfortunately, vehicle recalls are fairly common. The good news is that most recalls do not involve serious vehicle malfunctions that could cause you harm.

It is important to keep track of any recalls your vehicle may have. Many people find out that their vehicle has been recalled when they get a notice in the mail from the manufacturer. However, even if you do not receive a notice in the mail, there is a way you can check online to see if your vehicle has any potential recalls that could affect roadway safety. We encourage you to go to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) webpage to check your vehicle for recalls.

When you go to the NHTSA website, you will see an area on the page where you can enter your vehicle identification number (VIN). If you are unsure about where to find your VIN, there are a few areas you can look to locate this information. In most modern vehicles, this information will be available:

  • Through the windshield on the driver of the driver’s side of the dashboard. Step in front of the vehicle and look towards the bottom of the windshield, and you should see a tiny metal plate with the VIN stamped on.
  • You can usually find the VIN number on the driver’s side doorjamb sticker when you open the door. The VIN will be in the same area as a little bar code that is scanned by mechanics.
  • You can also find the VIN number on multiple documents pertaining to your vehicle, including the title, registration, insurance card, and DMV records.

Take These Steps After Your Car is Recalled

If you have received a recall notice for your vehicle, or if you discover yourself that the vehicle is facing a recall, that is okay. Do not panic. First, you need to determine whether or not the situation is an emergency. If the recall is for something that affects roadway safety, the recall notice will typically tell you not to operate the vehicle and to have it towed to the nearest dealership to be fixed. Do not worry because these repairs are free of charge. Please understand how important it is not to operate a vehicle if the recall notice tells you not to. This could create a safety risk not only for yourself but for others on the roadway.

After you find out the vehicle has been recalled, you need to get the issue taken care of as soon as possible. Manufacturers have three options when it comes to handling a recall for your vehicle or for a particular part in the vehicle:

  1. They can choose to repair the vehicle or part and no cost to you.
  2. They can provide you with another vehicle or a substantially similar model if the problem cannot be fixed.
  3. They can choose to refund the purchase price of the vehicle after subtracting a reasonable amount for depreciation.

Regardless of whether or not the entire vehicle is recalled or just a single part, this repair, replace, or refund process can apply.

Contact our Atlanta car accident attorneys today.

Posted in: Car Accidents

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