What to do if you receive a recall notice for your vehicle? A consumer advocate weighs in

We seem to hear about them all the time: vehicles under recall for a specific reason.

But do you know what to do if you get a recall notice in the mail?

“Read it carefully and understand what the recall is about. Understand the reason the manufacturer is issuing the recall, what could occur if the recall is not performed,” said Michael Sacks, automotive consumer advocate and director of communications at 1-800 LEMON LAW.

Sacks said ignoring a recall could be dangerous.

“We’re seeing issues with engines, electric vehicles with battery problems, issues with cars potentially stalling, and having potential engine fires,” Sacks said.

Sacks urged vehicle owners to get it fixed at an authorized dealership, and offered advice if there’s a problem getting parts for the recall.

“You could say to the dealer, ‘Listen, I don’t feel safe driving my car right now. I would appreciate if you would keep the vehicle until you can perform the recall. Maybe, you can give me a loaner?,'” Sacks said. “If they say sure and keep it for over 30 days, you could have rights under state and federal law.”

That could mean compensation, if the dealership can’t fix the vehicle.

But if the dealer says no, send a certified letter to the manufacturer explaining the problem and they could approve a loaner.

“So, you need to understand what’s going on. You need to be prepared and you need to be persistent.” Sacks said.

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Sandra Jones

Sandra Jones is an Anchor/Reporter for WTOP. She’s been in the news industry for more than two decades.

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