How to Deal With a Car Recall

woman looking at manual under car hood

Thanks to the recent highly publicized ​wrongdoings by a certain German automaker, car recalls have been in the news lately—and there’s a good chance your car might be next on the recall list.

But what exactly does it mean when your car is recalled? Many people out there aren’t entirely sure. That’s why we’ve taken a deeper look to explain what a car recall means and what you should do if your car is recalled.

Car Recall 101

A car recall is basically when your manufacturer says, “Oops, we messed up.” More specifically, a car recall is when your car’s manufacturer simply says that there is something on your particular model of car that is defective. They key here is to not panic. In most (if not all) cases just because your car has been recalled, doesn’t mean it’s too dangerous to drive, but it’s important that you fix the problem as soon as possible.

Step 1: Check Your Mail

Even if you already heard about your car being recalled on the news, you’ll receive an official recall notice from your car’s manufacturer by law. Make sure to look carefully for it too since it looks a lot like the other junk mail that you might get. The recall notice itself will say four main things: a) there is defective part in your car, b) that defect poses some sort of risk to your car, c) you need to bring your car into your dealer for a repair, and d) this repair will be free.

Step 2: Bring Your Car Into the Dealer

Now that you’ve been notified that your car has been recalled, it’s time to actually get it fixed. The recall notice will state the date that you can start bringing your car to the dealership to get fixed (usually within 60 days). From there, call your nearest dealer and schedule a time to bring your car in for the repair. Chances are there will be lots of other people at the dealership wanting to get their cars fixed ASAP as well, so make sure to get in there early. Otherwise you risk a long wait with a defective car. Once you’ve gotten your car into the dealer for a repair, the hard part is over, and the dealer should take care of fixing the defect.

Step 3: Go Home, but Stay Vigilant

When you get your car back from the dealer, the issue should be fixed. Chances are you'll be told if anything else needs repairing on your car too, but we suggest taking your car into a >trusted independent mechanic to get those issues checked out instead. Once you get your car home, make sure to stay vigilant to make sure the repair was done correctly. That means watching out for any strange noises, smells, or performance issues.

Getting a recall notice is never fun and usually ends up being a headache. So next time you’re looking to get your car repaired, don’t take it to the same people who sold you a defective car to begin with. Take it to the master-certified independent technicians in San Diego at Convoy Auto Repair instead to make sure you are getting the best care for your car. Contact us today to find out more and schedule a complete car checkup.

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