It seems that almost every year you hear about vehicles getting recalled. If you have received a notice through the mail that your vehicle is involved in a recall, it is comforting to know exactly what the procedure will be. Many people think it is best to let their local mechanic handle the situation, but recalls should be handled differently. Here are a few things to know about recalls.

What Causes a Recall?

Vehicles will malfunction from time to time; it is the downside to technology. However, when numerous people all report the same problem to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an investigation is started. If the NHTSA determine that there is a problem that can be fixed by the manufacturer, a recall is issued. Most recalls are due to problems with the steering, faulty wiring, or accelerators. However, any time you have had a malfunction in your vehicle, you should report it.

Getting the Recall Fixed

If you have received a notice through the mail informing you about a recall, you will need to take your vehicle to a specific dealership. You will be given a hotline number to call, and they will tell you where the car needs to go. Depending on the amount of work needed, you may be eligible for a courtesy rental vehicle. In most cases, the dealership should have parts on hand and only should need a few hours to repair the defect. There is no cost to you, as the manufacturer has acknowledged there was a defect prior to the vehicle being sold. However, if you have already gotten the repair done, you will be provided information on requesting a reimbursement.

What Makes a Car Eligible?

The government has put rules and regulations on recalls. For a car to be eligible for a recall, it must be less than eight years old. Even if there are multiple people who report problems with it, the cost to repair the defect will be on the shoulders of the car owner. This is why it is vital to report problems as soon as you notice them, especially if you purchase a slightly used vehicle. In addition, manufacturers have the ability to challenge the NHTSA's ruling in court. For you to be compensated for the repairs, you must get them done before the vehicle is eight years old and keep your receipts. This will allow you to receive a reimbursement for the work.

Very rarely will you not be able to get the recalled defect repaired, but if that is the case, make sure you work with the dealer to figure out how to handle the problem. Dealers will be compensated for the work, so they generally are very happy to help you get the problem repaired. Contact a professional auto repair company like Import Specialty Auto for more information on repairing a recalled vehicle.