It’s been a trying couple of months for car manufacturers and vehicle owners. GM recalled 1.6 million compact cars earlier this year, and Toyota recently followed suit — adding another 6.4 million potentially defective vehicles into the mix. With vast numbers of vehicles being called into question, many drivers are left wondering what do to if their cars need critical repairs. Here are some things to keep in mind if you think you own one of the affected vehicles:
Is Your Car Affected? Get To the Bottom of It
Guesswork isn’t good enough when your safety may be on the line. If you have not received a notice in the mail, but believe that your car was recalled, there are several ways that you can check. Kelley Blue Book employee Jack Nerad recommends “checking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) recall and defects website or Recalls.gov, which is a one-stop shop for recalls of six separate government agencies, including the NHTSA and the Food and Drug Administration,” according to ABC News. You can also check recall pages on car manufacturers’ official sites. “Consumer Reports also has a free online tool that allows you to check for recalls based on your car year, make and model,” ABC continues.
Take Advantage of Free Repairs
Schedule repairs with local dealers. Once dealers have the parts in, repairs on the affected vehicles will be free. Depending on your area, you may not even have to reach out to your dealer — your dealer will call you, The New York Times explains. In the meantime, GM advises drivers to remove any extra keys and parts from compact car key rings. This will prevent the faulty ignition switch from causing problems, and your car should be safe to drive, Mary Barra, CEO, asserts. If you feel unsafe driving your GM or Toyota vehicle while waiting for repairs, you are welcome to drive a rental or loaner car (typically provided at no charge).
Are You Eligible For Compensation?
Toyota’s defects — disabled airbags and broken springs that may cause seats to shift on impact — have not been linked to any deaths (yet). GM’s faulty ignition switches — turning off power steering and other essential electrical components — have resulted in at least 13 deaths. If you believe you are eligible for auto accident settlements or wrongful death settlements, talk to car accident attorneys. Accidental death and/or complex cases involving wrongful death are tragic and difficult — and victims’ families deserve justice for lost loved ones.
Don’t leave questions about recent recalls unanswered. Go online to verify whether your vehicle is affected, seek free repairs from your dealership, and/or consider talking to attorneys about accidental death and legal recourse. If the defects are responsible for an accidental death in your family, the manufacturers likely owe you compensation.