I Heard About a Scary Automotive Recall, Does it Affect Me?

I Heard About a Scary Automotive Recall, Does it Affect Me?


What is an Automotive Recall in the First Place?

Automotive recalls are something that happens when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), or an automotive manufacturer have determined that a vehicle or component of a vehicle fails to meet minimum safety standards.  This could involve the vehicle itself, or some kind of component of the vehicle, like an accessory, add-on, or something like a tire or wheel that may be produced by a 3rd party and not necessarily the original equipment manufacturer of the vehicle.  In most cases, the automotive manufacturer realizes that something is wrong and alerts the NHTSA before the NHTSA has to force the manufacturer’s involvement.   From a safety standpoint, no manufacturer wants to have injuries on their record, and from a financial and legal standpoint, it’s much better for them to pay a lot of money to address issues in advance, than to have to go to court and be out millions more down the line.

Give me an Example.

Let’s say that a particular model vehicle has a faulty wire in the airbag.   Several people may have experienced problems with the airbag deploying randomly (or not at all) and brought their vehicles into the shop for repair.  Typically the manufacturers are tipped off either by assembly line testing, or by shops all around the country ordering a lot of the same part suddenly and unexpectedly.   They can then issue a recall, to fix all of the makes and models affected, as a preventive measure, instead of waiting for something to go wrong.

How Will I Know if My Car is Affected?

Because this is important information, there are a couple of ways you may find out:

You’ll be notified via mail from the manufacturer — this will be sent to your home address, whichever address you used to buy the vehicle or your extended warranty.   If you move, you’ll want to make sure you call your dealership or the 1-800# of whichever manufacturer of vehicle you have to update them of your changes.

You may receive a phone call from your local dealer — If you go to the actual dealership for your make of car, as opposed to an independent repair shop, they may make phone calls to customers fitting the recall specifications.  Shops are paid for each recall repair they complete, so it’s beneficial to them to call you to get you in for the repair.


You can check online at NHTSA —   It’s a government website, and free to use, all you need is your 17 digit VIN (vehicle identification number).   Click here to go directly to the Recalls page.


Call us —  We’re always happy to help here at Bellingham Automotive, so give us a call at 360-676-5200 or stop by at 4116 Hannegan Rd. Bellingham, WA 98226, and we’ll be able to answer any of your recall or warranty questions.


 What Happens If I Don’t Address This Issue?

In some cases, nothing—- the recall may be something cosmetic or something that breaks only once out of every thousand cases,  but safety is never something to play around with.   Your recall could be something that causes death or grave injury, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.  We advise that you get your recall completed as soon as you can, after all— it’s completely free to you to get it taken care of, as long as it’s done by an authorized dealer and within the time frame.


But Don’t be Scared!

Many recalls are harmless, it’s only the ones that have killed people that end up making the news, and rightly so.  There are countless other recalls that have been completed and repaired without you even hearing about them, and they’ve been performed satisfactorily and without any time or trouble.  Recall notices can sometimes be extremely scary, but as long as you take care of the issue, and have someone on your side that you can trust in the automotive world, everything will be fine.   Make sure to contact Bellingham Automotive for all of your automotive needs, we are here to help you!