Summer is finally here and you are ready to hit the road with your family. The car that has taken you around town to work, to school, and to other activities will now take your family farther from home. You are looking forward to the change in routine and the quality time with your family, but what would happen if your car broke down? While you can’t predict every possible car issue before you get on the road, you can be aware of any recent recalls that could jeopardize your family’s fun and safety.
Check for Recalls Before Your First Vacation Day
2014 was a year of record car recalls. According to Fortune magazine, more than 60 million vehicles were recalled last year, more than double the previous record for recalled vehicles set in 2004. Additional recalls have been announced during the first half of 2015. Accordingly, it is important to know if your car is on the list.
Some of the more significant recent recalls have included:
- Takata airbags. This may be the biggest recall in United States history. It is currently estimated that it affects about 34 million vehicles—about one of every seven vehicles on the road. The recall was issued because there is a chemical in the airbag that can become too hot and cause the airbag to explode. Toyota, Honda and Nissan are just some of the car manufacturers impacted by this recall. You can find out if your car has an affected airbag by entering your vehicle identification number (VIN) at www.safercar.gov/vin.
- Ford cars. Ford recently recalled approximately 400,000 Ford Fiestas, Fusions, and Lincoln MKZs because of faulty latches in the doors that could cause the doors to open unexpectedly while the vehicle is in motion. Additionally, approximately 500,000 Ford vehicles have been recalled because of a defect that could cut the gasoline flow.
- GM Chevrolet Malibus. Approximately 470,000 vehicles were recalled because of a problem that could cause the seatbelts to weaken.
- Fiat Chrysler vehicles. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will reportedly face a public government hearing on July 2, 2015 to determine if FCA properly carried out 20 recalls involving about 10 million vehicles in recent years.
Of course, this list is not all-inclusive and is instead meant to illustrate how common car recalls are and to encourage you to stay up-to-date on any recalls impacting your own vehicle.
You can check to see if there has been a recall on your car by checking www.recalls.gov, a site maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). You can search the site by the make, model, and model year of your vehicle for a complete list of recalls on your vehicle. Safety information about other things such as tires and child safety seats are also available on this site. Additionally, you can sign up for email notifications so that you are automatically and directly notified about any future recalls affecting your vehicle.
What to Do If Your Car Has Been Recalled
Vehicle recalls include instructions for car owners. It is important to have any safety issues fixed before you hit the road. If you have questions about how to get this done, then please contact your local car dealership or call the number for the vehicle manufacturer, which should be included in the recall notice. Then you can begin packing and enjoy some well-deserved time off with your loved ones.