When an automaker issues a safety recall, it means that the vehicle has a serious safety problem and that the car needs to be fixed right away. What can you do if your vehicle gets recalled during the coronavirus pandemic though? Like many others, if you are working from home and don’t need to drive, or if you can use another vehicle, you can probably wait to have your repairs performed. It is important to remember that safety recalls do not expire. So, even though your car is not covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, you can get a recall repair done at no cost.
Car repair and maintenance facilities have been deemed “essential services” during this time, which means they can remain open. It is important to remember that since President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over the coronavirus on March 13, a total of 50 car, truck and motorcycle recalls have been issued. If a dealership is open, it is still obligated to perform recall-related repairs, which must be done at no cost to consumers under the law. The current pandemic has not charged automakers’ responsibilities when it comes to recalls.
Here are some of the steps vehicle owners can do to stay safe if their vehicles have been recalled during the coronavirus pandemic:
- Call the dealership. This is particularly important if you are an essential employee and have to drive daily or if you use your vehicle to buy groceries, medications and other essential items. You need to get your car repaired. Don’t drive to the dealership. Instead, Consumer Reports recommends you should call your local dealer first and schedule a recall repair. Also, ask them about what they do to disinfect the dealership and social distancing.
- Make serious repairs a high priority. Some safety recalls such as Takata airbag replacements are extremely serious. Also important are repairs that can help prevent fires or major mechanical failures. If your vehicle is part of a safety recall, it means your safety and your family’s safety are at stake. So, it is important to prioritize the repair, but do so with caution.
- Don’t worry about routine maintenance. If it can wait, don’t bog down dealers with routine service or maintenance. Also if the dealer can come to you, use that service. A number of dealership services are advertising pickup and delivery services for vehicle repairs. These services can also be used for recall repairs. Some automakers such as Ford and Volvo are offering these services as well.
- Clean your vehicle. Make sure you clean and disinfect your vehicle well especially parts you frequently touch such as radio and temperature controls, steering wheel, door handle and adjustment levers. The coronavirus may live on surfaces for a few hours or even several days.
Our auto defect attorneys represent those who have sustained serious injuries or have lost loved ones due to defective autos. We understand the seriousness of making recall repairs. We urge anyone who needs to use their vehicle on a daily basis to get the necessary repairs done and at the same time not put themselves at risk and take every precaution to make sure they are observing social distancing and other safety guidelines.