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What to do if your car is recalled

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Updated 11 Oct 2019

Joel Ilton

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If you have received a letter from your vehicle manufacturer stating a recall is to be implemented, it can sometimes be quite confusing to know what steps to follow to get your car repaired and back to operating safely. Recalls are issued when the vehicle manufacturer identifies a safety or compliance issue with one of their models.

Unlike when food products or toys are recalled, you won’t receive a new vehicle - it will need to go into the manufacturer to have any necessary repairs or updates carried out.

So what are the steps you need to follow? The first is to contact the manufacturer of your vehicle. This can be done by calling the phone number on the letter you received or contacting them via email. They will then be able to direct you to your nearest dealership to book in for the recall.

Some recalls will require the ordering of updated parts, so there may be a small amount of time between when making the booking and actually taking your vehicle in for repair.

The manufacturer will let you know if your vehicle is safe to use during this time or, in the case of a serious safety issue, when to leave the vehicle at the dealership. This is known as putting the vehicle in holding. If this is the case with your vehicle, the manufacturer will provide you with a suitable loan vehicle for the amount of time needed to carry out the repairs.

Taking your vehicle in for a recall is similar to when you drop it off for a repair or scheduled service. The staff will give you an indication of how long the recall will take and when your vehicle will be ready for pickup. If you are in a remote location or are unable to take your vehicle in for repair due to disability or special needs, you may apply to the manufacturer for assistance.

Your vehicle must go back to the manufacturer to have any outstanding recalls carried out. Independent workshops do not have the correct parts to rectify safety issues if they have been identified as a recall. All recalls are carried out FREE OF CHARGE, no matter how old the vehicle is, so there is no need to get your wallet out for these repairs.

The most important step if your vehicle is recalled is to get the necessary work done as soon as possible for the safety of you, your family and other road users.

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Written By

Joel Ilton

Finding a passion for cars from a young age, Joel carried out work experience as a mechanic whilst at school before starting an apprenticeship after finishing year 12.

After almost 10 years on the tools and in customer service, he moved into the IT realm as a Data Analyst and In-House mechanic at AutoGuru.