ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Car Safety Recalls - Why Do We Need To Take Our Car To The Garage?

Updated on July 29, 2013
Car Recall courtesy of
Car Recall courtesy of

After working for over ten years in Ford Recall England, I know the importance of Car Recalls. I have sent out thousands of letters over the years, mainly into Europe and Africa, but also locally too. The recall letters are usually concerning new cars that have only been recently released for sale.

The reason why many new cars are recalled is because the manufacturer, however careful, can and does miss tiny problems that only show up after a few weeks or months of driving.

Some of the maintenance problems can be something as small as the seat cover coming unstitched. But of course there are many things that can go wrong and some of them are really dangerous. That's why the second you receive a car recall letter you should always take your car to the nearest garage and preferably the one you bought the car from.

Copyright Nell Rose.

Faulty Brakes.

I remember a few years ago, the new ford mondeo had a serious brake problem. We had over 50,000 recall letters to send out. The letter was written in a very subtle way, but enough to show the seriousness of the problem. The wording was something similar to this. 'Please be careful on braking as you may find that the car may glide farther than you think'.

I remember a few raised eyebrows over that one. When asked, we were told that the words, 'You will crash and have a terrible accident' would not go down well with customers, and would probably cause the crash!

We did see the point. Most cars that are recalled are perfectly fine with the problem only showing up in the original complaint which was then tested. But if one or two have a problem such as a loose seat belt, then its possible that the rest of that batch of cars will have the same. Probably not, but its best to be safe. So what to do?

Faulty Brakes public domain
Faulty Brakes public domain

What Is A Safety Recall?

Any car or motorcycle that has to be called back happens because a vehicle owner has discovered a fault that could be dangerous for the driver. Sometimes the car manufacturer discovers the fault after the initial first sale of the cars that have been distributed to the garage.

The cars go through a process of checks by the National Highway Traffic Safety Admin, but sometimes the car faults can slip through the net.

This is the time for the manufacturer to get in touch with Ford Recall or other car firms so that they can send out the recall letters.

The actual recall does not mean the car itself is faulty. After working for many years at Ford, I realised that virtually every time the latest model of the car, whether it be a Fiesta, Mondeo or any of the other makes of car come onto the market there is usually approximately 70 to 80 percent chance of a recall letter being sent out.

As I mentioned above, the majority of recalls usually consist of small but niggling problems such as a light that doesn't come on, the seat belt fraying easily, or even the wipers not working properly. But of course there are many that could be really dangerous, such as brakes being faulty, headlights cutting out and so on.

car recall public domain
car recall public domain

Providing The Owners With A Recall Letter.

Without going into the background work of the recall such as the manufacturers job of finding and distributing the information, all the car owners need to know are the facts about the recall itself.

The letter must describe the defect, what could possibly go wrong with this fault, the fact that the work will be done for free as it's a manufacturers problem, how long it will take and so on.

There will also be a Customer Recall Administration phone number for anybody who needs extra information, or doesn't understand the procedure.This is where I and my colleagues come into it. We take the phone calls and pass them onto the appropriate garage or Customer Advice Centre for more help.

Car Safety Recall Remedies.

  • Free repair of the defect.
  • Buying back or repurchase of the car or equipment if the problem is to big.
  • Replacement of the vehicle or equipment.

What To Do When You Receive A Recall Letter

When the recall letter appears on your doormat don't panic. It will probably only be a small repair that needs doing. All you need to do is contact your local garage that deals with your make of car. Tell them that you have received a recall letter and then book a time to bring the car in for the repair.

There shouldn't be a problem, but if you find that there is something you don't understand then contact the Recall Advice Centre. The telephone number should be on the recall letter. If the repairs are going to take some time the garage should give you a courtesy car to cover you for your time away from your vehicle.

Just remember that any problems, you are just a phone call away from someone who will help you. We dealt with people all the time who were completely confused by the whole thing. That's what we were there for. And just remember, the repairs are completely free. Its nothing to do with warranty. A recall is purely what it says on the packet. Recalled for repairs because the manufacturer made a small mistake.

The Importance Of Your Address

Not all faults on the recall car are actually on new cars. Sometimes the particular make of car can have been sold over a number of years. So taking this into consideration many cars may have passed through at least two or three new owners.

Many times when dealing with a customer and sending out the letters to their address we have found that actually we have an old address or different name on the letters. These usually get sent back from the old owners to tell us where the car is now.

But sometimes there are returned letters with no information on them. This means that the old car owners didn't have the new owners address and details. So its really important to take down the address of the person who buys the car from you.

Apart from the log book info and details, writing down their address and keeping it in the drawer at home can and does save a lot of time, trouble and possibly lives.

courtesy of copyright
courtesy of copyright | Source

Unavailable Recalls.

Sometimes the car cannot receive a free recall purely because of the fact that the car is over ten years old, has been damaged because of the problem or more likely, the owner has paid for the repair to be done themselves. Saying that, most manufacturers or garage will reimburse you the full money. If you have trouble claiming back on a possible recall, then call or write to the recall centre. They will phone the garage and try to help you get a solution to your problem. usually one phone call from the recall centre usually makes them change their mind!

Checking For Recalls.

The majority of cars will have a recall on them at some time in the car's life. If you own a new or even second hand car, and you have no knowledge of there ever being a recall done on it then its a good idea to check either on the Internet or with your local garage to see if there has been a recall that you have missed for some reason.

You don't want to pay out large sums of money on mending a fault in your car if there is a possibility that you can get it for free through a recall. And its always a good idea to let your local Ford or appropriate garage know that you have their make of car so that they can contact you.

Technical Details.

If you need to get in touch with your garage to find out if you have an outstanding recall, then its a good idea to make sure you have the right details in front of you ready for them to check.

You will need your Vin Number or Vehicle Identifcation Number and Reg Number so that they can check your exact vehicle.

An example of a Vin Number. - 5GZCZ43D13S812716

An example of a Reg Number - English PA51 ABC American - GBQ 7198


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)