Steps to take when informed of a vehicle recall

NHTSA_Logo2Studies cited by NPR in 2010 indicated that vehicles are at fault in about 2% of vehicle accidents. Though that may not sound like a lot, you still want to avoid being at risk due to a vehicle defect.  Staying safe behind the wheel means safe driving and it also means driving vehicles that meet Federal safety standards.  Vehicles with safety defects are subject to manufacturer or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiated vehicle recalls for free repairs, and below we provide an overview of the recall process.

Once the vehicle recall process begins, federal law requires manufacturers to notify owners of affected vehicles with a letter including the following:

  • Description of the problem and resulting safety risks.
  • Instructions on how to correct the problem including when repairs will be available as well as the location and estimated length of time for repairs.
  • Notice that the repairs are free of charge.
  • Information on whom to contact if there is a problem obtaining the free repairs.

Consumers may call the NHTSA toll free using the Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236 or check the NHTSA website for recall information if they believe their vehicle is subject to a recall but have not received a notification letter. Also, as a service to Greater Los Angeles area vehicle owners, Southern California Jiffy Lube provides up-to-date monthly vehicle recall information on our blog at  “vehicle recalls”.

Once you are notified of a vehicle recall, make your appointment for repairs and take your recall notice letter with you to the appointment. Contractual agreements between vehicle manufacturers and dealers usually stipulate that dealers provide recall repair work free of charge regardless of where the vehicle was purchased. If you have any problems obtaining your free vehicle repair, follow these steps:

  1. Contact the dealer service manager: explain that your repair is part of a national recall (this will usually eliminate the problem).
  2. Contact the manufacturer: call the telephone number provided to you in your letter of recall and describe your problem or look in your owner’s manual for the manufacturers contact number.
  3. Contact the NHTSA at their website.

To stay safe on the roads, Southern California Jiffy Lube reminds you to check for recalls and follow the above steps if your vehicle is recalled. Also, remember to obtain preventative vehicle maintenance like an oil change service according to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. And to save money, sign up for special coupons and online deals from your neighborhood Southern California Jiffy Lube.

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