Tuesday 20 February 2018

What you should do if your car gets recalled

As the number of faults continue to rise what does it mean for you

Faulty: The Takata airbag recall is the largest in history
Faulty: The Takata airbag recall is the largest in history
Geraldine Herbert

Geraldine Herbert

With close to 154,000 cars recalled in Ireland in 2015, the chances are at some stage, if you are the owner of a car, that it will be recalled.

In this month alone, BMW has recalled its X3 and X4 models, Opel Ireland extended its Zafira B recall, three Land Rover Ireland models were recalled as was Suzuki's SX4 S-Cross model.

From toys to seat belts, vehicle and other product recalls occur monthly and continue to be a fact of life. For the most part, recalls go unreported because they're minor and relatively inexpensive to resolve.

It is worth remembering that the increase in recalls is due to customer expectations, more emphasis on the safety of our cars, and a greater willingness by manufacturers to fix faults faster.

What is a recall and who initiates it?

Recalls are part of an on-going quality-monitoring processes related to all aspects of production, drive-ability and long-term reliability.

In Ireland and across the EU, car companies are obliged under vehicle type approval legislation to instigate recalls directly rather than relying on any external body to order them.

So what should you do if your car is part of a recall?

Once a recall has been announced the car maker gets a list of the chassis numbers of cars that were supplied to the Irish market. Owners are then contacted using the National Vehicle Register maintained by the Department of Transport.

What will it cost me?

Any work done will be free of charge as the cost of repair or adjustment must be borne by the manufacturer and is never charged to the customer; this a legal requirement for all vehicles sold in Europe.

Should l be driving the car?

Most are for minor issues and in the majority of cases are precautionary and do not mean there is any imminent danger. Therefore unless told otherwise there is no reason why you cannot drive your car.

Will the resale value of my car be affected?

Historically recalls do not affect resale values. It is important, however, that you do not ignore a recall notice. Apart from the safety concerns, not getting the work completed may have an impact on the value of the car when you go to sell it.

Sunday Independent

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