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Take Notice of Recalls and Stay Safe

The other day, I got something in the mail that I’d never received before: a recall notice for my car. Dealing with a recall may be a hassle, but I knew from our experts here at AAA that I needed to take care of this right away, and that is what you should do, too.

These safety issues can have fatal consequences, so getting your car to your local dealer quickly is key. The cost of the repairs is covered, which is an added incentive to get the necessary repairs handled as soon as you can. The government requires manufacturers to issue recalls for safety or emissions concerns and to make repairs for free.

But even though recall notices are sent and repair costs are covered, you’d be surprised at how many motorists fail to get these repairs done. Every year, on average, 25 percent of recalled vehicles are left unrepaired. Sometimes, if a car was purchased used and is not taken to a dealer for service, the automaker might not know how to contact the owner. Or, perhaps you've moved and the manufacturer doesn't have your current address.

With many recalls making headline news, it's a good idea to check on your own car if you have any questions or concerns. At, You'll find links to digital resources that make it easy to see if there are any open recalls on your vehicle. You'll need your car's 17-digit vehicle identification (VIN) number, which you can find on your car's registration and on the dashboard, so be sure to have that information handy.

In addition to those sources, you can read more about recalls here. Paying attention to recalls – and getting your car fixed promptly – might save not only your life, but also the life of someone you love.

Jim McGrath

March/April 2016 Issue

Jim McGrath


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