Although it may be inconvenient for you as a vehicle owner, when a car is recalled, there is always a good reason for it. Many auto recalls are due to problems that impact safety on the road. Manufacturer recalls for vehicles are fairly common, and it’s important to understand what your options are if you fall under that warranty umbrella.
How to Find Out if Your Car Has Been Recalled
Because of the importance of vehicle recalls, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has a clearinghouse that allows you to check your VIN against recalls. (Tip: You can find the VIN on your car’s registration card or on the lower left of the car’s windshield.) The site will cover current recalls less than 15 years old, but it may not catch very recent announcements as it can take some time to identify all identified recalls.
Also, the NHTSA only provides information for recalls that are a safety issue so you may want to check with your manufacturer independently. For example, the Nissan recall service site will provide you with details about any recalls that may affect your Nissan.
Although manufacturers are required to send out recall notices, these are typically only delivered to the vehicle’s first owner. Even if you are the first owner, recall letters and emails may be lost or accidentally deleted or sent to junk folders. If you hear that your vehicle’s manufacturer has issued a recall, you should check your VIN even if you did not receive a letter.
It would also be prudent to check the VIN if you buy a used car, whether from a dealer or a private owner. Franchise dealers are generally obligated to complete recall repairs, but other sellers are not. Our Nissan dealership in Springfield performs certified Nissan recall repairs and warranty service before selling any certified pre-owned model, guaranteed.
What You Should Do When Receiving a Recall Notice
Once you discover that your car is affected by a recall, call your local dealer to find out what the repair plan is. Typically, this means scheduling a warranty repair appointment at your local auto service center. At that time, you’ll be given options, repair times, and details about the type of service being performed.
For certain safety recalls, it is recommended to avoid driving your car until the repairs have been made, if possible. However, most affected cars will never warrant this. Recalls are generally issued out of a sense of caution. For example, if the front passenger airbag is faulty, you might be able to avoid using that seat until the repair is completed.
However, some recalls are dangerous. Although life may not make this feasible, you may want to rent a car for any long trips. Ask your car dealer if they provide rentals for free while your vehicle is receiving recall repairs. Many dealers may provide you with transportation.
In most cases, car warranty repairs can be performed quickly. But large recall repairs can result in parts shortages. Some recalls may be for minor issues such as a worn, nonessential component or part. If the recall is for a minor issue, you can make the choice of whether to accept the free repair or live with the problem.
Are Nissan Recall Repairs Free?
Yes, all Nissan recall services are free at our Springfield Nissan dealership. The NHTSA requires that such repairs be free for cars under 10 years old. However, for cars older than that, you may have to pay for repairs, depending on your warranty and the recall itself.
The free warranty repairs only cover the defect mentioned in the recall. Should you decide to have additional work done on your car, then you will still have to pay for that out of pocket.
What if I Already Got my Car Fixed?
Most recalls are a result of consumer complaints. A portion of drivers often have the repairs performed before the recall is issued. You may be able to get a reimbursement if you respond quickly. The deadline to be reimbursed for car recall repairs is 10 days after the last recall notice is sent out, so stay on your toes!
What Else Should I Consider?
If you received a recall notification letter, make sure to take a copy of it to the dealer for verification. If the dealer gives you any hassles about repairing the car, you should contact the manufacturer. You can also file a complaint with the NHTSA. However, in most cases, your manufacturer should provide you with answers that will take care of any issues.
Experiencing problems with your new Nissan? Even if it hasn’t been recalled, your Nissan is likely under warranty, meaning you’re entitled to free repairs! Contact our Springfield Nissan warranty service center to get to the root of the problem. If you have any other questions about Nissan recalls or warranty repairs for your car, we’re here to help. Swing into our Nissan repair shop at 146 Route 22 West in Springfield, NJ, or call our certified technicians at (973) 315-1177 to schedule an appointment.