Do Car Recalls Expire?

Do Car Recalls Expire?

Last Updated on February 9, 2024

If you’ve ever been the unfortunate recipient of a car recall, you might be wondering if the recall ever expires. The answer is a little complicated. Recalls have no expiration date. However after 8 years from the original sale date of the vehicle you may be required to pay if you wish to have the recalled part or parts replaced or corrected.

If you purchased a used car you still qualify for any recalls, including those that have occurred before you bought the car. We recommend you contact the manufacturer and let them know you are now the current owner so that car’s VIN, your name, and home address are in the database for all future correspondence. Try calling the manufacturers customer service department. There should be a toll free number included within your owner’s manual for reference purposes.

Should I Be Concerned My Car Is Being Recalled?

Cars are recalled every day, in fact there were 763 car recalls in 2018 which equals an average of more than two recalls a day. So no need to be concerned if you receive a recall notice for your car.

If you do get a recall notice for your car, it doesn’t mean that the vehicle is destined to breakdown or be unsafe to drive. Rather it could be that an issue in the manufacturing process has been identified in a number of similar models and has the potential to surface in yours.

However if the car is unsafe to drive the manufacturer will alert owners to take special precautions. In more serious cases, the manufacturer may even recommend not driving the vehicle or parking it in a garage due to fire concerns.

Recalls are a key part of road safety and it is encouraging that they’re happening more often. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launches many recalls, but there’s also flexibility in when manufacturers want to voluntarily issue a recall over safety concerns.

What Triggers a Car Recall?

Recalls are often prompted by problems found in the steering, fuel system, braking, wheels, air bags, wiring or other components that can pose a serious safety concern.

Manufacturers are required to fix the problem by repairing it, replacing it, offering a refund, or in some rare cases repurchasing the vehicle.

Vehicle reliability research tool.

What Steps To Take If Your Car Is Being Recalled

The first thing you should do is call your local dealership and have them check your VIN (vehicle identification number). With this number, they will be able to confirm if your vehicle is part of the recall. 

If the dealership confirms your car is part of the recall campaign, they should be able to fix the issue in a timely matter, and almost always the repair will be completely free.

In some rare cases, additional parts may be replaced due to rust or other damage that normally occurs with age. It may be your financial responsibility to cover these costs. The dealership may offer a discount for these parts in order to keep a high customer satisfaction rating. So be sure to ask if they can discount any additional parts that may be required to complete the recall fix.

Final Thoughts

Car recalls are serious business, and it’s important to fix any problems as soon as possible. So don’t wait–if your car has been recalled, get it fixed!

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2 thoughts on “Do Car Recalls Expire?

  1. Avatar
    Lois Ann (Garman) Hershey
    January 23, 2023 at 5:29 pm

    My name is Lois Ann Hershey I can hardly drive my car at night, due to the diming since I purchased it. I use my high beams, but get blinks to lower them.
    When I received recall notice, it was a little post card saying they were working on a recall, and I would hear more when the settlement t is settled. When I told them about my lights, now I am told it’s too late and I have to pay out of pocket to have them checked or replaced! I can’t afford what they say it will cost, so I have to stop driving at night, I suppose. I read there is an extension, but my local dealer tells me it doesn’t cover my auto because I missed some date!!! I am really frustrated, and disappointed in Nissan!!!!!

  2. Avatar
    September 11, 2022 at 11:38 am

    I was told by the manufacturers customer service that there was a recall for this issue and that it was mailed to me at my old address. I never receive the notice and they are saying basically that’s too bad we’re not going to help you.

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