Why Auto Recalls and Service Bulletins Should Be Handled Promptly
These days, cars seem to have an endless number of features. This means that there are more reasons than ever for there to be recalls and service bulletins. With the increase of amenities, safety features and computer-based software within vehicles, manufacturer updates are often needed after you drive your vehicle off the lot. These types of fixes should be seen as a normal part of car ownership, much like having auto insurance. While you might not feel like you have the time to deal with recalls and service bulletins, these shouldn’t be ignored.
Know the Difference Between Service Bulletins and Recalls
While all fixes that come from your car’s manufacturer should be taken seriously, remember that recalls are usually free of charge and should be taken care of first. Service bulletins are a little different and are more like recommendations than covered recalls. These might not have specific repair guidelines, and sometimes just involve repair shops reviewing and coming up with their own fixes. Both are important, but if you have to choose between the two, safety recalls shouldn’t be put off.
Ignoring Recalls Can Affect Your Insurance and Registration
While your auto insurance premium won’t go up just because you aren’t vigilant about recalls and service bulletins, accidents that occur as a result of your inaction can lead to an increase. If there is a recall or bulletin that you have been made aware of and haven’t acted on, you might be more prone to accidents stemming from a defect. These accidents can indirectly cause your insurance rates to rise. Another factor to keep in mind are recalls surrounding your car’s emission rates. States like California won’t renew registration until these are taken care of.
Time Is of the Essence
If you wait too long, you may miss the window for free recalls and labor, or it can be increasingly difficult to have this work completed. When you receive a notice of recall pertaining to your car, it’s a good idea to act on this right away. If you are in a heavily populated area or your car is a popular make and model, recalls might be prevalent and dealerships will be working overtime to fix the problems. Time is of the essence, and recall fixes might not be easily available forever.
Used Cars and Service
If you have purchased a used car, it’s a good idea to follow up on recalls and service bulletins. While these may or may not have been taken care of by the previous owner, at least you’ll have a clear picture of your car’s needs. If you aren’t sure if you have uncompleted recalls or service bulletins associated with your vehicle, you can find information on your make and model, and sometimes even your specific car, through the VIN number at http://www.safercar.gov/.
Finally, a good California auto insurance policy is just as important as following through with safety recalls and service bulletins. By maintaining these secondary safety procedures for your car, you will be further covered in the event of an accident. Keep up on your auto insurance and any recalls or service bulletins so that you will be prepared if an accident happens in the future.