If you’ve recently bought a new car or are going to purchase one in the near future, there is a possibility that, at some point in the future, that car will be recalled by the manufacturer that made it.
Car recalls occur when a manufacturer finds a fault in a vehicle they’ve produced and it’s determined that a certain model or several models built during a certain time period may share the same fault.
In this scenario, a manufacturer will publicly announce which particular models are to be recalled.
If you think or know that your car has been included in a recall then there’s no need to panic. But you’ll also want to follow the correct procedure to ensure the process of getting your car taken away and returned goes smoothly.
If you are ever unsure about whether your car has been recalled or not and you want to check right away, you can get confirmation by using the .
What happens during a car recall?
If a recall has been issued for your car then you and every other affected owner should get notification very soon after the manufacturer issues the recall. The manufacturer will register the problem with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
When this happens, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) will be authorised to supply details of the current owners of each affected car. With this information, the manufacturer will then contact owners directly by either phone, email or via a posted letter.
The manufacturer will arrange for your car to be taken to a dealer for repairs (or maybe just an inspection), free of charge. Depending on what kind of issue the car has been recalled for, it may need to spend anywhere between five minutes to several hours at the designated dealer.
Do I need to stop using my car if I think or know it is being recalled?
When your car is subject to a recall, you probably won’t need to change car. It's likely that manufacturers are merely being cautious and checking that other cars made in a production run don’t carry the same issue as faulty models that have been reported.
That is why during past recalls, virtually every car taken to a dealer only spent a tiny amount of time there.
In the most extreme scenarios, if the manufacturer deems your car’s fault dangerous enough, they will inform you not to use your car when they get in contact about the recall.