How Do I Respond to an Automobile Recall?

Auto repair facility.

Content provided courtesy of USAA.

 It's natural to cringe when you hear your vehicle's make and model listed in a recall (Find Out If Your Car is Part of a Recall).

 But don't let that unease turn into inaction.

 Automakers don't create recalls arbitrarily. They're generally for safety reasons, and that means it's in your best interest to respond quickly.

 "You need to get the recall done as soon as you reasonably can," says Mark Burrage, director of home advice for USAA. "Contact your dealer and schedule an appointment. Your car is a large investment that you need to protect, and you need to make sure it protects your family too."

 Here are some tips to keep in mind when an auto recall affects your vehicle:

  • Act immediately. Once you determine that your make and model are in the recall, schedule an appointment to get the work done as soon as possible. Some people wait until they have free time or until the initial rush of repair work is over. But, remember, the recall is for safety reasons, so prompt action is best.
  • Beat the crowd. If you hear about a recall for your make and model, ask the dealer about getting repairs before you even receive the recall notice. At that point, there may not be many people trying to get the work done. Also, the dealer is more likely to have the necessary parts on hand at the beginning of a recall.
  • Hang on to your recall slip. Don't tuck it away where you'll forget it. The slip contains valuable information and should serve as your reminder to get the work done quickly.
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