The word recall has been in many headlines this year and the attention auto manufacturers are getting may not be such a bad thing. First its important to understand that a recall notification doesn’t mean an entire line of vehicles has a problem, most of the time it is only specific vehicles in a model line that were built during a specific time that are affected, it’s rare that EVERY car in a certain model line has an issue that needs to be addressed with a factory recall. Recalls occur when the manufacturer determines that there could be a problem with certain vehicle and asks the owners of those vehicles to bring them to dealerships for repair, in mass production situations many parts and components are outsourced and sometimes there are concerns with specific parts that result in a recall for those parts to be replaced. With the sophistication of production it is usually possible to identify the dates when parts of question were produced and recall only the vehicles with the parts from that period of time installed. Typically a recall will be very specific in not only the model but also the production date however when the news media reports them they will generally make broader more encompassing statements like “all of the Make/Model vehicles have been recalled” and this isn’t always true. When you hear about a recall on the news or online and have a concern if your specific vehicle is included there are a number of way to find out. You can call your local dealership, like Raceway Ford if your vehicle is a Ford, and one of the service pros will be happy to check your VIN for you. Or, you can check for yourself at sites like SafeCar.gov where they have a recall page set up for consumers with the latest recall info here.
Although the frequency of recalls seems to get attention it is a reflection of the increased awareness of the safety and mechanical integrity of today’s autos. Not only are vehicles safer than they have ever been and are lasting longer than ever. In a mass production environment perfection is nearly impossible when keeping affordability in the equation as well however, its good to know that auto makers do test and retest their products to ensure they are at the level of quality that consumers deserve and if they do find situations where they aren’t; they are willing to fix it.