a person driving a car

What to Do If Your Vehicle Has an Auto Recall

Updated May 5, 2024 . AmFam Team

At American Family Insurance, we care about you, and we want to help you take smart, proactive steps when it comes to keeping you and your family safe on the road — and that includes making sure your vehicle is in its best shape.

So, what do you do if your vehicle is recalled? Follow these steps to insure you’re taking the proper action to protect what matters most.

About Car Recalls

Though car manufacturers work hard to make their vehicles as safe as possible, auto recalls have become fairly commonplace. A recall happens when a manufacturer or NHTSA (Opens in a new tab) determines that there is a safety-related defect in the vehicle or equipment. If this happens, the automaker will notify owners and usually offer a repair for free.

How do I know if my car has been recalled?

Safecar.gov. Want to know if your car is affected by a recall? Check out www.safercar.gov (Opens in a new tab) for news and updates, and use the search tool (Opens in a new tab) to look up recalls specific to your vehicle.

Sign up for alerts. Get timely recall updates via email by subscribing to the NHTSA’s recall notification service (Opens in a new tab). You also can download the SaferCar app for Apple (Opens in a new tab) or Android (Opens in a new tab) devices.

Recall letter. Usually, you’ll receive a recall letter with a description of the defect, potentials risks and warning signs, how the problem will be fixed by the manufacturer, and instructions as to what to do next. Bring this with you when you go to the dealership.

a mechanic working on a car

What should I do if my car was recalled?

Take action. We know how busy life can get, but if you get a recall notice, try to get your car fixed as soon as you can. Call your local, authorized dealer to set up an appointment. They’ll be able to work directly with the manufacturer — it should be as simple a process for you as possible.

Will I have to pay to have my recalled car fixed?

By law, you won’t have to pay for repairs if the recall is announced 10 years or less after the date of the car’s original purchase date, according to the NHTSA (Opens in a new tab). But even if your car is older than that, your safety is still worth every penny when paying for the repairs yourself.

We’re here to support and protect you on every mile of your journey through life. That’s why we’re giving you the knowledge you need and steps to take for auto recalls. Be sure you’re staying protected with the right auto insurance by contacting your American Family Insurance agent — because by proactively working to prevent unplanned surprises, you can keep pursuing your dreams fearlessly.

American Family Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. nor its operating companies approve or endorse the products or services of any third parties that are referenced within this article. This article is for informational purposes only and based on information that is widely available. We do not make any guarantees or promise any results based on this information.

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