When it comes to taking care of your vehicle, no matter what make or model you drive — BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, or something else — at some point, there will likely be a recall. No vehicle, no matter what class or price tag it has on the window, is immune, since this is how manufacturers fix the problems that crop up after they have already shipped a vehicle to the public. They can happen not long after a car first comes to market, or they could be issued years later, as parts start to wear out and flaws are discovered.
At Auto Works of Brandon, we’ll check your vehicle for any open recalls when you bring it to us for regular maintenance or repairs. But if you want to stay on top of any open recalls yourself, so you can be proactive about making arrangements to have them fixed, here are a few resources you can use.
- https://www.safercar.gov/ This site, like many out there, pulls from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s database, which keeps a running tally of every vehicle on the market, and provides a single point of reference to look up any vehicle, from any year, produced by any manufacturer. To use the tool, visit the site about and put in your vehicle’s VIN number, which can be found on the windshield of your car, on the inside of the drivers-side door, or on your insurance card.
Once you input that number, you will get the chance to verify that the make, model and year are correct, and then it will check the database for any open recalls that are currently available on your specific car. This takes the guesswork out of trying to determine if a recall applies to you or not — if it shows up on this site, then it applies to you, and you can bring it in to have it repaired or replaced.
- http://www.recalls.gov This site uses the same NHTSA database to check for recalls, but it will also allow you to check for other types of product recalls as well, including the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). If you are looking for one website to keep bookmarked for all of your recall needs, this is a good option.
- http://www.cars.com If you are in the market to buy a used car, this is actually a great resource since it allows you to check for recalls on a potential vehicle before you purchase it. Unlike the other tools, this one doesn’t require that you know the VIN number yet – you just need the make, model and year, as well as your zip code. While it isn’t going to be as exact as a VIN lookup, you will get to see the overall recalls issued for that vehicle type, which will give you a good idea of what to expect.
Recalls aren’t a reason to panic — in the vast majority of cases, they are for minor parts and issues that don’t impact the overall function or safety of the car; rather, they are generally for parts that are just wearing a little faster than expected. But it is a good idea to get them repaired as soon as possible when they do come up, and making a habit of checking the databases once or twice a year is a good idea.
Auto Works of Brandon
119 Central Dr Ste B
Brandon, Fl 33510
Phone: (813) 657 4399