What is a vehicle safety recall?

A safety recall is when Nissan releases an official notice to owners of vehicles found to be defective or potentially defective, and includes the plan for corrective action. The defects that result in an auto recall can range from a minor mechanical defect to major defects. Usually only a portion of the vehicles produced for the specific year, make, and model will be affected by the defect and recall.

Who determines what vehicles are recalled?

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) tracks vehicle failures and investigates accidents. When it is determined that a vehicle or motor vehicle's equipment does not comply with a Federal Motor Vehicle safety standard, or when there is a safety related defect in the vehicle or equipment, a recall would be issued. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards set these minimum performance requirements for those parts of vehicles that most affect its safe operation that protect drivers and passengers from death or serious injury in the event of crash. These standards are applicable to all vehicles and vehicle related equipment manufactured.

Will I be notified if my vehicle is affected by a recall?

Once all relevant information has been gathered and the issuance of a recall has been decided, consumers are notified. This is generally done in stages and may be subject to recall parts availability. Notification letters are sent from the Nissan Motor Co and/or Tom Wood Nissan and usually contain the following information:
-Description of the defect
-The risk or potential hazard posed by the problem, including any warning signs if your vehicle may be experiencing this problem
-Brief description of the free remedy, including when the remedy will be available and how long the repair will take

What do I do if I get notified of a recall on my vehicle?

If you received notice that your vehicle may be affected in a recall, you can click the Contact Us form on this page to reach Tom Wood Nissan Service Manager Gary Adams. Confirmation of your vehicles' involvement will be sent to you and we will schedule the corrective action for you as soon as possible. Usually only a portion of the vehicles produced for the specific year, make, and model will be affected by the defect and recall, so be sure to check with us before you come in.


I feel I may have a recall on my vehicle but I have not yet been notified?

Nissan and/or Tom Wood Nissan may not be able to contact you if your address has been changed or the latest ownership of your vehicle is not updated in our records. Please submit the Contact Us form on this page to inquire about your vehicles' recall status and we will get back to you right away. You may also contact one of our professional service consultants. Please have your 17 digit vehicle identification number (VIN) available when placing this call.

Learning that your car, truck, or SUV may be subject to a recall can be a concerning situation. The good news is, it doesn't have to be. Receiving a recall means that the problem has been identified and can be fixed, allowing you to operate your vehicle safely. If you have received a recall letter or have heard about a recall for vehicles such as yours in the news and are wondering if you are subject to it, this guide has everything you need to know about what a recall is, how they work, and what it means for you.

Image via Flickr by Alan D. Spackman

What Happens When a Company Issues a Recall on Your Vehicle?

If a company determines they may require a recall on one of their vehicles, they must notify all owners within 60 days through certified mail. The manufacturer will use formal vehicle registrations in order to create a list of owners and send a letter explaining the recall to each. This means that if your vehicle registration information is up-to-date, you should receive a notification through the mail if your vehicle is ever subject to a recall.

If you are unsure if your vehicle is a part of a current recall, and believe that there is the possibility that your letter went to the wrong address or was otherwise misplaced, you can also check your vehicle for any open recalls online. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers a VIN lookup-tool online. All you have to do is enter your vehicle information and the website will inform you if there are any recalls you need to be aware of.

What to Do When Your Vehicle Faces a Recall

If you received a recall letter in the mail, or entered your vehicle's VIN number into the online NHTSA search and discovered that there is a recall out for your vehicle, you may be wondering what's next. The good news is that all you need to do is follow these simple steps to get your vehicle serviced in accordance with the recall:

  1. Relax: Receiving a recall letter about a vehicle you're driving can be a stressful experience, but it doesn't need to be. Although a recall shows a potential hazard within a vehicle, it also shows that the problem has been identified and addressed, and that you are on the pathway to receiving the repairs or replacement your vehicle needs.
  2. Read the Letter: The letter your manufacturer sends when issuing a recall is a valuable resource. It will explain to you what parts are being recalled, why the recall is being issued and what you should do in order to protect yourself and get your vehicle repaired. This will include information on where you can get your vehicle serviced, and the urgency of doing so, in order to help you make a safe decision.
  3. Look for Indicators: After reading the recall letter, you may wish to examine your vehicle for any warning signs stated in the recall. In some recall cases, there may be indicators which show whether your vehicle is a high risk or not, which allows you to make a more informed decision when scheduling your recall and transporting your vehicle to the service station.
  4. Contact a Service Professional: The most important step in any vehicle recall is making an appointment with a dealership service center you trust. If you received a recall notification for a Nissan vehicle, the service professionals at Tom Wood Nissan can help you by providing premier service to get your vehicle working the way the manufacturer intended.
  5. Follow Additional Instructions: Your recall letter may include specific instructions related to your response in the event of a recall. It's important to follow the instructions on your recall closely. These instructions are put in place for your safety, so by following the steps provided on your recall, you can complete the repair or replacement your vehicle needs as safely as possible.

Who Pays for a Vehicle Recall?

While the letter that you received regarding your vehicle recall will explain the specific details of your situation, recalls typically cover the full cost of the repair or replacement required. The manufacturer may also provide additional coverage, such as covering towing costs, taxi or ride sharing costs, and rental costs, depending on the severity of the recall. It's important to read your recall letter carefully in order to determine what benefits the recall coverage includes. This allows you to make informed decisions and receive the maximum benefit you are entitled to while your vehicle is having repairs or replacement.

Do I Have to Follow My Vehicle Recall?

If you have received a recall notification, it is important to follow the instructions completely. A vehicle recall is a matter of both personal and public safety. By following the recall, you allow your vehicle to operate as intended, making it safer not just for you, but your passengers, and anyone else you encounter while out on the road. The good news is that because the manufacturer covers the cost of a recall, the process is designed to be as easy as possible for vehicle owners.

When you receive a recall notification from your manufacturer, it's important to make sure that you follow it closely and take your vehicle to a service station you can trust. Tom Wood Nissan is proud to be Indianapolis' leading Nissan dealership and auto service center. If you received a recall for your Nissan, the service professionals at Tom Wood Nissan can help. Call us or contact us online to schedule your service appointment to have your recall repair or replacement completed professionally. Your safety is our priority!

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