Biggest Recall in History of Automotive Industry: What Should Consumers Do?

“There is good news and bad news with the announcement of the Takata air bag recall: the good news, millions more Americans are covered for a fix to this serious problem, the bad news, it could take years to get safe parts manufactured and replaced in affected vehicles,” said Jack Gillis, CFA’s automotive expert and author of The Car Book, published with the Center for Auto Safety.

What Consumers Need to Do:

1. Obtain your vehicle’s identification number (VIN) by looking in at your dash from the outside of the driver’s side or on the outer edge of the driver’s door. (It is also available on your registration card.)
2. Go to www.safercar.gov/vin and type in your VIN.
3. If your vehicle is part of the recall, contact ANY dealer of your vehicle immediately to schedule a replacement appointment—there is no charge for this fix.
4. Ask your dealer (or the manufacturer of your vehicle) for a ‘loaner vehicle’ while parts are being manufactured.
Important Note: If your vehicle is NOT currently listed as being involved in this recall, it is important to check back on a regular basis to see if it gets added.

“The sooner you contact a dealer, the sooner you’ll get on the list for repairs,” said Gillis. “Traditional recall response rates are around 70%, so in the end, if consumers don’t respond to this recall, there could potentially be over 10 million vehicles with this dangerous defect on the road.”

“While the root cause of this problem is not fully understood, humid regions with high moisture in the air can exacerbate the problem. Consumers in those areas have likely already received a recall notice and should respond immediately,” added Gillis.

CFA is an association of more than 250 nonprofit consumer groups that was founded in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy and education.

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