Recalls: important, needed, and often overlooked. Usually, a manufacturer announces a recall if a fault or issue is found with regards to the functionality, safety, or longevity of a particular unit.
When a brand issues a recall, it is important to bring your car into the dealer for assessment. Common recalls are often associated with the safety equipment in a car. These include but aren’t limited to the seatbelts, airbags, or driver assists that ensure an occupant makes it out alive after a sticky situation.
Parts may also be faulty from the factory. Your power steering could be malfunctioning and will need a replacement. Your brake system could also be susceptible to a fault, or perhaps your engine’s fueling system is defective. The point here is, no part in the car is exempt from a manufacturer recall.
Why do recalls happen?
Brands may identify manufacturing defects through a number of methods. You may know that cars are complex machines that require a lot of parts and engineering. With so many pieces it is likely that some of them may have sub-par quality once they roll out of the factory. The brands themselves aren’t always to blame, however. Outsourcing has become commonplace, and brands often look to other manufacturers to supply the necessary components to make a car.
Case in point: Takata is one such company that many car brands rely on to supply safety equipment. One of their most notable products found in many of today’s cars is the airbag inflator. They manufacture seatbelts for car manufacturers as well. This doesn’t mean that the company’s products are faulty, however, it just means that a bad batch of parts was manufactured and shipped out. An outsource may give the manufacturer a heads up, which leads to a recall.
On the other hand, a car brand may push out a product with a flaw that can only be detected after some elapsed time. The concern can be pressed by customers who complain, as the frequency can indicate several units in a batch are affected. Maintenance and repair data is collected by the service department and forwarded to the parts department who can them press the matter onto other parties involved, like the outsources. The data could then be further assessed until a decision is made to issue a total recall.
Another way is through an agency like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the States. This entity has the power to identify and advise brands to make a campaign that replaces faulty or malfunctioning parts in the interest of public safety.
Why do recalls matter?
Recalls are often done to cars to address customer’s complaints before the complaint even happens. In the case of airbags, which are a one-time-use device, manufacturers need to make sure that they work before a crash may happen.
They also matter because it minimizes the risk of a part failing to do its job, especially if it is an important one. On the consumer end, you get the most value out of your car purchase because more often than not, this service comes free from the manufacturer who promised you a working automobile from the dealership. On the brand’s end, it is also a measure taken to protect its consumers from any catastrophic failure which can lead to a tarnished reputation.
We would like to urge car owners everywhere to heed the manufacturers’ call. If a recall is issued, it would be best to be safe than sorry. You also get a brand new part for no cost, and who doesn’t like free things? The point is, to keep your car ownership experience as seamless and as worry-free as possible, pay attention to recalls. It could mean the difference between a few more years of service, or an airbag inflating when it needs to. Scary stuff, but we need to take things seriously especially with the iron horse you take on the road day in and day out. Recalls aren’t a bad thing, they just prevent bad things from happening, and prevent things from getting worse.