If you watch the news or read it online, you should be familiar with the recent batch of car recalls. You may think your car is safe from the recall menace, but don’t celebrate just because your dealer hasn’t sent you anything in the mail. However, there are still ways that you can do your part in ensuring the safety of your car.
If you bought your car new from a reputable dealership, contact them to see if you car is on the recall list. Get in touch with other dealers who also carry the make and model of car you purchased if your dealer’s out of business. The manufacturer’s website is one of the best authorities when checking if your make and model is up for recall. You will most likely be pushed back to the dealer, so be prepared for this should your car be up for recall.
If your car is on the recall list, that’s the time to set up an appointment for the repair. It would be more polite to schedule an appointment rather than just walking in. This gives the dealership time to order parts, staff accordingly, and ensure that they’re giving your vehicle enough time to make the repair. You just might fall asleep waiting if you walk in.
Next thing to do is to have all your ducks conveniently in a row – ask them how long the repair would take, if you would need to loan a car, and if the repair is going to cost you – it shouldn’t. You shouldn’t pay because it is their defect that led to the recall. Their fault, they pay. The dealership, though, may not be able to let you rent a car for free if the repairs would take one night or more. You should have other choices. One such option would be a shuttle service. A shuttle service would be able to drop by for you before work once you drop off the car, then return for you after work. Regardless if you wait, take the shuttle or rent a loaner, being without your car, even for a few hours is tough, so plan ahead.
Documentation is essential whenever your car ends up on the recall list. Keep every piece of paperwork that you get regarding your car. Print out and save any email correspondence you have with the dealership or manufacturer, as well as any vital information found on a website. Also keep any estimates or receipts for the work. This may be the most important part of the recall process, so keep everything in order! If you have disputes regarding the cost of repairs or safety of your car, you will need this file.
All the tips above are applicable only for newer vehicles. If you are driving a used car, you will need to verify whether it is still covered by the recall. Don’t jump into any hasty conclusions. And take note that different models would have different reasons behind the recall. Don’t go rushing in like a fool, read up on the issue at hand and find out what it is before having your car repaired. Know what the problem is going in, how they intend to fix it, and keep any proof that shows the issue has been repaired.