Did you know that in 2014, there were almost 64 million vehicles recalled due to safety issues?! According to NHTSA, the amount of vehicles recalled in 2014 outnumbered the past three years combined. To add to this, in 2014 there were over 100 deaths nationally due to vehicle malfunctions.
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Recently, both General Motors (GM) and Honda had major vehicle recalls. GM recalled 1.6 million vehicles due to faulty engine switches. Honda, on the other hand, recalled 34 million vehicles in the U.S. and an additional 7 million worldwide due to faulty airbags.
The RECALL Act
The RECALL Act, also known as the Repairing Every Car to Avoid Lost Lives Act, was proposed by two United States Senators and works to ensure that State agencies:
- Are in compliance with safety recall requirements through whichever agency is responsible for motor vehicle registrations
- Will notify motor vehicle owners of all recalls by certain deadlines dependent on the varied vehicle registration cycles.
States that are not in compliance with safety recall requirements may have 5% of their federal highway funds withheld by the Secretary of Transportation if the bill passes.
The RECALL Act also requires that vehicle owners who have been informed by their state of residence that a recall for their vehicle is underway, have the necessary repairs made before the registration can be renewed. However, there are exceptions to this rule if:
- The owner of the vehicle did not receive proper notification from the state of the recall to allow them enough time to have the issue fixed before their registration expires.
- The manufacture of the motor vehicle has not provided the owner a fair opportunity to finish the recall repairs due to a shortage in parts or qualified technicians to complete the work required.
- The owner of the vehicle can successfully show the state that there is a valid reason as to why they didn’t have a reasonable opportunity to get all the recall repairs completed in which case they would be provided a temporary, 60 day tag.
What Should You Do if You Receive a Recall Notification?
If the RECALL Act passes and your vehicle has been recalled, you would receive a notification from your state’s DMV, RMV, tax collector, or other agency in charge of motor vehicle registrations. You would need to contact your local dealership right away to set up a time to get your vehicle repaired. It would also be essential that you follow any interim safety instructions provided by the vehicle’s manufacture. Under the RECALL Act, you would not be able to renew your motor vehicle registration if your recalled vehicle has not been properly repaired.
When you have the recalled area(s) of your vehicle repaired at the dealership, all parts and labor will be free. You would need to notify your vehicle’s manufacturer if your assigned dealership does not provide the repairs as instructed by the recall letter. If the dealership had not facilitated the repairs by the time you need to renew your registration, you would be allowed to renew your registration but you would still be driving a potentially unsafe car. Excellent reason to be a pain in the dealers a**!
Important Information for All Car Owners
If you need to file a complaint regarding safety issues with your vehicle, visit the NHTSA’s ODI division.
If you would like to check to see if your vehicle is currently on a recall list, you can visit SafeCar.gov’s look-up page. You will need to provide your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). You can find your VIN on your vehicle’s windshield, your registration, and possibly your insurance card.
You can also visit the manufactures site directly to see if they have posted anything about recalls to vehicles in their production line:
|Acura||Lexus, Toyota, & Scion|
|Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram||Mini|
|GM(Includes Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Hummer, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn & Saab)||Nissan|
Although the RECALL Act may seem like an added inconvenience if you have to take extra steps to renew your registration, its purpose is to Repair Every Car to Avoid Lost Lives. The possible inconvenience is justified, don’t you think?