Why a car recall isn’t all bad news

The rate of car recalls is at an all-time high. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that manufacturers are building less reliable cars.

A recall letter is usually something you don’t want to receive. You’ll usually need to schedule a trip to the dealership, have an argument over getting a courtesy car and then pick up your car, whereupon you’ll invariably notice no difference in the way it drives. What’s more, recall rates are at an all-time high.

So what’s going on? Are manufacturers building flaky cars once again? No, not at all. These recalls are, despite the superficial hassle factor, a good thing. In effect, they’re evidence that the system of checks and balances put on car makers is working, that manufacturers can no longer get away with letting safety issues slide as they one did.

A perfect example for this situation is the major Takata airbag recall which (we hope) you’ve heard about by now. 

The Takata airbag issue relates to the Japanese manufacturer who supplied airbags to a number of manufacturers that – in some instances – can deploy sending shards of metal at the unfortunate occupant. This one will rumble on for a good while yet as the car manufacturers still continue replace the old Takata bags.

Had this recall not happened, millions of people globally would be driving around in cars fitted with potentially lethal airbags – without knowing about it. 

Sure, it’d be easier if they just got things right in the first place, but be thankful that manufacturers are going back and checking over their product, rectifying any issues they may find. 

Here in Australia, we’ve had 176 recalls so far this year. Recalls are climbing at a steady rate each year.

If you’re called upon to get your car fixed, for whatever reason, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s advice and get it sorted as soon as possible. 

So, it’s certainly not bad news if your car is recalled. Never ignore the notice, as this can have knock on effects not only in terms of safety but also on the validity of your warranty.

And remember, the best manufacturers take recalls the most seriously. While recalls may be frustrating in the here-and-now, consider the bigger picture. 

Article reproduced from WhichCar

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Zac Zacharia (Managing Director) has been assisting clients to create wealth and secure their futures for over 14 years.

He is also an accomplished presenter and educator

Co-authoring the popular investment book, Property vs Shares.