Car Recalls: Should I Worry?

Manufacturers recalls are not always the best things car owners want to hear. Unfortunately, when issues that could affect the safety of the car owners and other road users are identified, affected cars need to be recalled by the manufacturers.  

What is a car recall?

A recall notice is issued by a car maker when it identifies a major problem with a particular car model. In some cases, recalls occur due to the ugly experiences car owners have faced and subsequently reported to the manufacturer. While most recalls are major, some are minor and could be as little as cases of leaky sunroofs.  

Recalls take to forms – the launch of a service measure’ done the next time the car visits the dealer and a full-scale recall where the owners are contacted by the manufacturer. While the service measure’ is used to fix minor problems, the full-scale recall is used when major issues are involved. 

Recalls that made the headlines

In most cases, recalls are precautionary and are not usually detected by the car owners. Seeing the headline about a recall should therefore not scare car owners. Car recalls seem to be trending as major car manufacturers recall different models of their cars after detecting that they have issues. 

The most recent car recall that that hit the headlines is the Volkswagen emissions scandal that borders on the use of certain diesel engines by the giant car manufacturer. The Vauxhall Zafira B’ models are the most hit especially in the UK, with thousands of the car recalled for the second time to avoid them catching fire due to an error in the heating and ventilation system. 

The Volkswagen group launched a self-service website to help car owners detect if their cars are affected by the recall or not. 

How do you know if your car has been recalled?

In most cases, the manufacturer gets in touch with car owners that are affected by a recall, provided the registered details are correct. It is, however, important for you to follow the instructions stated in recall notifications as soon as possible, even as most recalls are precautionary with no major need to panic. 

The cost of a recall

The car owner is not liable for any cost in case of a recall as the manufacturer bares the cost. However, where problems that are unrelated to the reason for the recall are detected, additional charges may occur. The decision to carry on with such repairs, however, remains with you.  

It is also important to note that recalls do not last forever. You should, therefore, take your car for such repairs as soon as possible if it is affected. 

Where do you take your affected car?

Affected cars should be taken to nearest appointed/authorised dealer or workshop. 

Can compensation be received in the case of a recall?

While it is compulsory for manufacturers to carry out all the recall work for free, they are not obliged to give compensation for the inconvenience caused to you. However, you can contact the customer services department of the company if you feel you deserve compensation. 

Does a recall affect the resale value of the car?

A recall is not expected to affect the value of the car negatively if you decide to sell it. It is, however, important to have the necessary work completed to avoid the subsequent owner arranging for the work to be done. 

Recent Recalls

One of the major recalls of all time is the one for the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, which has led the car manufacturing giant to allocate £4.7 billion in a bid to win back its customers. 

The Vauxhall Adams models built between February 2014 and October 2015 have been recalled as a result of steering issues discovered. The Vauxhall Mokka model has also seen recalls due to seatbelt pretensions and steering.  

Other recent car recalls have involved Nissan and Toyota, with over 250,000 recalls in the UK alone, due to airbag issues. 

Effect of recalls on car makers

The most severe effect of a recall on a manufacturer is repetitional damage and this is usually the case in a situation of recall that is handled badly. 

The most obvious effect, however, is the financial implication the recall will have on the manufacturer. 

A recall handled properly can mean good fortune for the manufacturer as it means that the manufacturer is constantly looking for ways of improving its product and is even willing to pay for such improvements. 

It could also give an impression to the customer that the manufacturer cares about his or her safety.  

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