It got us wondering: Why aren’t people more worried about recalls? And in the event of a recall, what exactly happens to your car insurance? Do your rates get wonky if you ignore a recall notice?
As usual, we did the digging so you don’t have to.
Car recalls 101
You’ll know if your car, or one of its parts, has been recalled because car companies are required to send letters to affected customers via mail. In order to stay apprised of recall info, you'll need to keep an eye on your snail mail, not your email. Want an e-friendly way to double-check? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains an updated list of vehicle recalls, and you can even subscribe via email for notification for your particular vehicle.
The recall letter should outline your next steps. Generally speaking, you’ll have to make an appointment with your dealer to fix the problem.
What is an auto safety recall?
as defined by the NHTSA
A recall is issued when a manufacturer or NHTSA determines that a vehicle, equipment, car seat, or tire creates an unreasonable safety risk or fails to meet minimum safety standards. Manufacturers are required to fix the problem by repairing it, replacing it, offering a refund, or in rare cases repurchasing the vehicle.3
Car insurance and vehicle recalls
An auto recall is the responsibility of the manufacturer, not your insurance company. Even if you're involved in a recall-related collision, your insurance company will likely make your manufacturer fork over the funds. But if you put off getting the recall fixed and it has long-term safety impacts on your car, it could cause your insurance rates to go up.
Where it gets tricky is in regards to safety. Car insurance rates are determined in part by the relative safety of a vehicle. If a recall has a long-term effect on the safety of your car, your rates could rise. But this usually isn’t the case, so don’t worry unless your car has seen multiple recalls or needs other repairs due to the issue.
If your vehicle has been the subject of a recall by the NHTSA, contact your auto insurance company to figure out what you should do next.
An auto recall is the responsibility of the manufacturer, not your insurance company.
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About The Zebra
The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.
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