It seems as though car recalls are never far from the headlines at the moment. According to HPI, over six million British cars have been recalled by manufacturers and repaired free of charge since 2011. While HPI also reveals that the UK’s automotive industry boasts one of the highest recall and repair success rates, one in 10 recalled vehicles has yet to be presented to a main dealership for its safety defects to be rectified.
You can check if your car is affected by logging on to the official UK Government website: https:http://www.gov.uk/check-if-a-vehicle-has-been-recalled .
Surprisingly, 83% of HPI’s respondents in one of its recent surveys revealed that they had not considered asking the vendor of a used car if a recall notice had been issued against it. Fortunately, however, subsequent owners can bring the car into a main dealer for a free repair.
Recalls are very expensive for manufacturers and they tend to be kept to an absolute minimum, unless there is a pressing safety issue. Sometimes, a government may even force a recall. However, main dealers may be authorised by the manufacturer (via a TSB – Technical Service Bulletin) to undertake certain minor, non-safety critical work, which can vary from the replacement of a part, to minor adjustments and software upgrades. Such changes tend to be performed when the car is serviced routinely by a main dealer and some minor alterations are even carried out for free, sometimes without the customer knowing. Unfortunately, non-franchised workshops do not receive this level of communication from carmakers.
Therefore, if you buy a second-hand car, especially if it is under three years old and has not been maintained by a main dealer at all, enquire not only about any official recall work that may need carrying out but also if there are any outstanding unofficial TSBs. However, while official recall work should be carried out for free, expect to pay for any remaining TSBs, especially if the car’s manufacturer warranty has expired.