I know some of you turn up your noses at a story that isn’t about a great new sport truck or accessory, but please humor me by sticking with this for at least a couple of minutes. It could save a life — and it might even be yours.
Since there have been so many recalls lately, I thought it might be a good time to remind you that you may not receive notification when there is a problem. If you bought your vehicle or trailer used, you won’t be notified. And I suspect you’d be amazed by the number of acknowledged issues that are floating around out there.
I sometimes receive responses from you when I mention any government requirements or regulations, but this is one that everyone should applaud — even from readers who consider me a turncoat for feeling that rearview cameras should be in every vehicle. The reason: recalls cost money for the manufacturer — lots of money. As a result, they are reluctant sometimes to recall unless it is required of them. Some, like Toyota with the most-recent recall of certain Lexus vehicles for unintended acceleration, and GM for its massive (every one that had been built) recall of the Chevy Cruze, have shown that they are able to accept responsibility without being prodded, but not everyone plays the game that way.
So, take a few minutes and check to see if your vehicle, trailer or tires and some aftermarket accessories are on the recall list — do it at least twice a year — and follow the instructions as to how to get anything listed fixed or replaced. Some places to go for recall information:
- recalls.gov/nhtsa.html — the most complete source for vehicles, trailers and tires
- edmunds.com — vehicles only
- newcar.com — vehicles only
- websites for the manufacturer of your truck, trailer or tires (these will list any non-mandated recalls undertaken by the manufacturer.)
The manufacturers are likely to have the most specific information on getting your problem handled.
You are not a wimp for checking this stuff our or taking care of a problem that you might not have identified yourself. If your vehicle or accessories are not affected, consider yourself lucky but never stop checking. Often, it is older vehicles that have problems that are identified years or even decades after they were made; and a recent survey indicated that manufacturers were only able to notify about 52% of the older vehicle’s owners.
Let me know if you have ever had a recall on your vehicle, trailer or tires, and how well it was handled when you discovered it. Good customer service should be rewarded and poor handling of a problem should be publicly noted.