What is a Car Recall?

Written by Danny Collins
Last updated: September 18, 2022

Buying a used car can be a great way to save money, especially if you know what to look for. With used car dealerships popping up all over the place, it’s important to do your research before making a purchase. One thing you should always check for is car recalls.

What Exactly Is Car Recall?

A car recall happens when a car manufacturer or the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) discovers a potential safety problem with a component on a vehicle. Many of the most recent, high-volume recalls have concerned faulty airbags. Nonetheless, recalls are issued for safety reasons, ranging from minor technological flaws, such as malfunctioning windscreen wipers, to electrical issues that might cause the automobile to catch fire.

Why Is A Car Recalled?

A car is recalled when it’s deemed unsafe to drive. The problem might be with the car or a particular component, such as the brakes, engine, or airbags. Occasionally, a recall is issued because of a manufacturing error that could affect many vehicles.

In general, there are two levels of recalls. The first is called a field action or safety recall. This happens when there’s an immediate safety issue and the car needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Examples of issues that may cause a car to be recalled include:

  • Malfunctioning airbags (It is well known that Takata airbag issues have caused issues millions of cars over the years).
  • Driver assistance features that do not work correctly.
  • Potentially untightened or wrongly fitted components.

Another major recall is called a Stop Drive Recall. The manufacturer requests you to stop driving your car and contact them to have the vehicle repaired as soon as possible. In rare cases, a vehicle driver or other road users may be in danger if the steering, engine, or other drivetrain components are no longer operating.

If an issue is not deemed serious for a recall to be issued, the DVSA can still place a Consumer/Garage Warning or a change to the maintenance or servicing requirements of the vehicle. If a recall is needed, the vehicle will be typically be inspected and then repaired if a fault is found by the manufacturer. In extreme cases, the manufacturer may initiate a buy-back of the vehicle to remove it from use.

How to Check If an Automobile Has Been Recalled?

You can check whether a car has been recalled in the UK by visiting the DVSA website and entering the vehicle’s registration number. The site will then tell you if there are any outstanding recalls for that car. You can also find out about recalls through the European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for dangerous products, which includes motor vehicles.

What Should I Do If My Automobile Is Recalled?

If your car is recalled, you should contact the manufacturer immediately. The manufacturer will then provide instructions for bringing the car to a dealer for repairs or replacements. In some cases, the recall might require the car to be returned to the manufacturer. If you buy a used car with an outstanding recall, you can get it booked and taken care of.

Although you may put things off, having the work done as soon as feasible is preferable. There is no recall cost, and the manufacturer or an authorised service department will handle any required repairs.

Will Car Recall Affect My Car’s Value?

A car recall will not necessarily affect your vehicle’s resale value. It all depends on the severity of the issue and how many cars are affected. For example, a voluntary recall for a software update is not likely to have much of an impact on the value of your car. On the other hand, a mandatory recall for a serious safety issue could significantly reduce the resale value of your car, especially if it’s one of many affected models.

Should You Avoid Buying Cars With Car Recalls?

As long as the recall has been carried out, there is no reason to avoid buying a car that has been recalled. You may even be able to negotiate a lower price for the car since the manufacturer will have already discounted it. Just make sure that you get a confirmation in writing from the seller that the recall work has been carried out before you finalise the purchase.

When buying a used car, it’s always a good idea to check for any outstanding recalls before making a purchase. This way, you can be sure that any necessary work has been carried out and that the car is safe to drive. You can check for recalls using the DVSA website or the European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for dangerous products. If you find a car with an outstanding recall, ensure the work is carried out before finalising the purchase. Otherwise, you could be faced with costly automobile repairs down the line.

Another way to check is by running a car history report showing if the car has been recalled in other countries. This is a good idea if you consider buying a used car originally sold in another country.

Do Some Research Before You Buy

If you’re in the market for used automobiles, it’s always a good idea to do your research before making a purchase. This includes checking for any outstanding recalls on the DVSA website or the European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for dangerous products. By taking these simple steps, you can be sure that you’re getting a safe and reliable automobile.

Vehicle recalls happen more often than you might think, so it’s always a good idea to check if an automobile has been recalled before making a purchase. Don’t forget to research before buying a used car to avoid any costly surprises down the line, and do a car history report to check if the car has been recalled in other countries.

So if you’re considering buying a used car, do your research first and check for outstanding recalls. This way, you can be sure you’re getting a safe and reliable car. Have you ever bought a used car that was recalled? What did you experience?

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