How to handle a car recall

May 26, 2015 09:03 AM

You probably hear about car recalls all the time, but when it comes to actually navigating the situation, you might not have the slightest clue where to begin. Where do you bring the car? Are you eligible for repairs? How about a refund? Know the facts so you can steer clear of recall issues. 

How to learn about a recall
Esurance confirmed that manufacturers typically mail letters to customers to inform them of recalls. When a major recall happens, it'll be hard to miss because news organizations usually report on it. If you've had your car for some time or bought it second-hand, there could be a few recalls that have slid under the radar.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, any car owner or buyer can find out if a vehicle or part has been recalled by using a tool on the organization's website. Before you start, you'll need to know the VIN number to learn whether the car has been repaired following a recall.

Use your computer to see if you car has been recalled. Use your computer to see if you car has been recalled.

Are you in danger?
If it turns out that you're in dire need of some maintenance, contact the manufacturer or dealer for further instruction on handling the recall. Not every recall signifies an immediate threat to the driver. Sometimes a company might recall a car if the air conditioner doesn't work properly. Popular recalls involve airbags, windshield wiper assembly, tires, wiring and seat belts. 

"It's always a good idea to take care of the repair sooner than later."

Even though some repairs seem minor, it's always a good idea to take care of the them sooner than later. A car that's up to speed trumps one that needs some work.

Are services free?
As a recall signifies that a manufacturer made a mistake, you should not have to pay a penny out of pocket for the adjustment or replacement of a car part. Esurance suggested to bring the recall letter with you on the day of the scheduled services.

This mitigates any confusion regarding the recall and subsequent repairs. Staying on top of recalls prevents unnecessary maintenance and promotes safety.

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