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What to Do After a Car Recall

What to do if your car is recalled ?


Over the last few years, dozens of automobile manufacturers including FORD, Toyota, GM, and Honda have recalled millions of vehicles collectively. The fact that you are reading this article means that you might also have received a recall letter. If so, then worry not. In just a few moments, you will know what exactly to do when you receive a car recall letter.

First, the basics

Car recalls are issued if manufacturers establish that there is an equipment defect on the car. Maybe the airbags are not working as they should or the breaking system doesn’t work properly or a myriad of other problems. Companies recall vehicles so that the problem or problems can be remedied for free ensuring that the customer can go back to his or her normal life without having to worry about some safety issue. The recalls are also a sort of PR exercise meant to reassure potential buyers that the manufacturer is highly concerned about their safety.

Here is a step by step process on what to do in case of a car recall:

Step One: Check

When you receive a recall, first check if you might have been injured or suffered an accident because of the indicated defect. If so, then get a good car accident attorney! This is because, as a car owner, you have the right to sue a vehicle manufacturer for compensation and the attorney can help get you the best settlement.

Step Two: Read

Know that there are three possible recall remedies allowed by the law, i.e. refund, replace, or repair. It is up to the manufacturer to decide which recall remedy is suitable for a particular defect. The letter will have specific instructions on the recall remedy provided for your car defect.

Step Three: Go

Most of the times car recall remedies are processed through local car dealerships. The specific dealership should be indicated in your letter. Remember, car recalls often affect thousands if not millions of people. You might be surprised to find that over five hundred cars are to be repaired in your local dealership alone. This means you should GO early to the dealership to get there ahead of others. Driving to the dealership later on around noon will mean waiting a lot longer than you expected.

Step Four: Pay Nothing!

Yes! You read that right. You don’t have to spend even a cent on repairing your car. Your car manufacturer is supposed to take care of everything! Whether the repair will take an hour or a few days, all you have to do is wait and then go take your car. This is how simple the whole process is. If someone charges you for anything related to the repair, your car accident attorney should be in a position to help you get the help you need.


As you can see, getting a car recall is not as negative as many media reports portray it. Follow the simple steps laid out here and you will be good to go. Your recall letter should have all you need to know about the defect your car has and what you need to do. In case repair/ replacement is the remedy of choice for the manufacturer know that you have to pay nothing. Everything will be done for free! If the remedy of choice is ‘refund’ then you should get a car accident attorney to help you get the maximum refund for your car.

Last Updated: 03-24-2017