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What is a Recall on a Car?

recall on a car

Recall on a car is issued by a manufacturer If it determines that a car does not comply with a federal safety standard, or has a safety-related defect. Usually, once the automakers are alerted a free repair will be issued. However, you should make sure that there is an active recall on your vehicle’s year, make, and model before doing anything.

How to Check if Your Car Has a Recall

It may be difficult to know exactly how to check if your car has a recall. Luckily, you can find out your car has a recall in three easy steps!

1. Locate your VIN

  • A VIN number is a 17 digit vehicle identification number you can find:
    • On the lower left-hand corner of the windshield, on the driver’s side. 
    • On your vehicle registration or insurance card
    • On the part of your car where the door connects to the body, also known as a door jamb.

2. Check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) database:

  • Go to the NHTSA recall page here: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls and enter your VIN. 
  • If nothing comes up, there is no recall. If your car does come up proceed to step 3. 

3. Contact your dealer

  • Schedule an appointment with your dealer. If the matter is urgent the dealer can even have your car towed. No matter the type of recall all repairs should be done at no cost to the buyer. 

Would a Recall Affect My Claim for a Lemon Law Case?

A recall can affect your claim for a lemon case depending on the situation. Similar to lemon law, a manufacturer has three options once contacted:

  • Repair your vehicle
  • Replace your vehicle
  • Refund for payments made toward your vehicle

Typically if there is one recall on a vehicle it can be replaced in one attempt, not qualifying the vehicle as a lemon. One of these three must be impaired:

  • Safety
  • Value
  • Functionality 

If your vehicle has multiple recalls, the chances that your lemon law claim will succeed will likely increase. If the manufacturer attempted four or more times under the same warranty related to the recall, you will likely be eligible for benefits. 

Would A Recall on a Car Affect My Claim If The Recalled Part Is Not A Lemon Law Issue?

Typically no, if you have an open lemon law claim because of the mechanics of your car, and you get a recall notice relating to the safety the two should not affect each other. This may depend on the number of recalls on the vehicle, typically if your car has one unrelated recall it will not affect the lemon law claim, if there are multiple it might. If the vehicle was recalled while the dealer is trying to repair the vehicle and damages it in the process causing a recall the claim will likely be affected. Keep in mind recalls cannot cause a vehicle to be a lemon.

Call us today if you have any questions if a recall on a car would affect your lemon law claim. Our trusted lemon law attorneys will discuss with you to see you have a case. The consultation is free!


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