Vehicle warranties are confusing; some are comprehensive, others are very specific, and it can be hard to tell what you have. Here are our best tips.
A while ago we walked you through our step-by-step guide in how to find recalls for your vehicle, how to get them repaired for free, and how to register your vehicle’s tires and child seats so you can be informed ahead of any future recalls. If you missed it, click here to see it, it is definitely worth a read. After reflecting on the HOW of vehicle recalls, there is one important matter that is left on the table, and that is WHY you should bother with these repairs at all. There is also the smaller question of WHEN you should be concerned about them, and we will get to that at the bottom of this article.
The #1 Reason to Fix Your Recalls: Safety
Road safety is a shared responsibility. The safety of the vehicles that travel Canada’s roadways on a daily basis rests heavily on vehicle owners, which include individual Canadians, as well as fleet operators, car rental companies, and used car dealerships. Vehicle owners have a responsibility, not only for their own personal safety, but for that of the drivers of their vehicles, their passengers, any subsequent owners, and other road users.
Mandatory vehicle recalls only occur when passenger safety is in danger. There are many stories of the weird and bizarre vehicle recall (this post by Top Gear does a great job to illustrate the more hilarious) but even these examples are all based on potential dangers to the occupants. There are only two times that a vehicle recall occurs in this country, and they are both very serious:
- When a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment (including tires) does not comply with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard;
- When there is a safety-related defect in the vehicle or equipment.
Neither of these should go unattended, and when the repairs are free, there really is no excuse to avoid them.
When is it time to check for recalls?
Before buying a used vehicle, check to see if any recalls apply to it by consulting the Road Safety Recalls Database. In order to confirm whether any recalls that have been issued for your vehicle model apply to your particular vehicle or to find out whether the repairs have been carried out, you can contact the nearest authorized dealer. Using the vehicle identification number (VIN), the dealer will consult the manufacturer’s database of recalls and tell you whether the vehicle that you are about to buy is subject to any outstanding repairs. If so, you can ask the seller to have them carried out before you take possession.
Checklist for being a safe vehicular citizen
- Have your recalled vehicle repaired as soon as possible after receiving notification of a defect and following any interim instructions that may be provided by the manufacturer in the recall notice;
- Check Transport Canada’s Road Safety Recalls Database regularly for any new recalls that may apply to your personal vehicle, the vehicles in your fleet, or your rental vehicles;
- Register your used vehicle with the automotive manufacturer in order to ensure that you will receive any new recall notices promptly;
- Inform the vehicle manufacturer of any change in address without delay.