Thanks to an overwhelming news cycle that goes 24/7, it seems like we are constantly being bombarded with stories. While you may be tempted to go on a news fast, it is still important to stay in the know about any updates and news that applies directly to you and your everyday life.
A great example of this is vehicle recalls. You may be so busy avoiding the many negative and horrific news stories impacting our country and other nations, you might accidentally miss a report about a massive recall that includes the car you drive your kids to school in every day.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the latest and largest vehicle recalls, as well as how you can stay on top of this type of news and be notified if your car is impacted:
Some of the Largest Vehicle Recalls in Recent Months
In March 2018, Ford issued a safety recall on approximately 1.3 million vehicles that could have potentially loose steering wheel bolts. Without repair, these faulty bolts could cause the wheel to detach, which is definitely not something you want to happen while driving. Later that year, thousands of Ford F-150 trucks were also recalled because of a problem with the seat belts that could cause interior carpeting or insulation to catch fire.
But Ford isn’t the only company that has dealt with recalls in recent months. In March 2019, thousands of Audi coupes, sedans and SUVs were recalled due to an electric coolant pump that could short-circuit from moisture buildup or from becoming blocked with debris, according to Consumer Reports. And in the past few years, Kia has recalled over half a million of its Forte, Forte Koup, Optima and Optima Hybrid sedans, along with its Sedona minivan. The company found that these models (made between 2010 and 2013) had an airbag control that might short circuit, preventing the front airbags and seat belt pretensioners from deploying.
Massive Airbag Recall Affects Millions
Currently, tens of millions of vehicles with Takata air bags are under recall, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Vehicles that were made by 19 automakers have been recalled to replace the frontal airbags on the driver side, passenger side or both sides. These Takata-made airbags were mostly installed in cars made between 2002 and 2015. The problem was found to be in the airbag’s inflator, which is a metal cartridge filled with propellant wafers. In the event of an accident, the faulty inflator could ignite with huge force and metal shards could fly into the vehicle, causing potentially fatal results. So far, 16 people in the U.S. have died from this issue and more than 300 injuries and 24 deaths have occurred worldwide.
I’m Freaking Out! Is My Car Okay?
If at this point you are ready to become a devoted bike rider, walker or commuter by bus, it is pretty understandable. It can be jarring to know that there are issues with the vehicles that we trust to get us safely from Point A to Point B every day. However, before you sell your trusty Toyota or beloved Beemer, know that you can take a proactive approach to this situation. Start by bookmarking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website; it has an entire section devoted to recalls. All you need to do is enter in your vehicle’s VIN number and the tool will tell you about any vehicle safety recalls that are incomplete or that have been conducted during the past 15 years.
Your vehicle’s manufacturer should also inform you of any recalls, so if you drive an Accord and get a letter from Honda, don’t immediately toss it. First check to see that it is indeed an ad and not important info about a safety recall. To help set your mind at ease even further, you may want to look into used car service contracts that will cover your bases when it comes to vehicle maintenance. For example, Protect My Car offers the Ambassador Maintenance Plans that cover most vehicles, regardless of the year they were made or the number of miles on the odometer. If you own an older car or have just purchased a pre-owned vehicle, a used car service contract can help you save money when bringing the car in for repair, and it can ease any worries you may have about the safety of your vehicle.
You’ve Got This
While learning that your vehicle is part of a recall is concerning, it does not mean you should ditch the car. If you receive a notice about your car, get it in for service ASAP and the dealer will fix the issue. Bookmark the NHTSA site and check as often as you wish for any recalls; this way you’ll be sure to have the latest info. These steps, along with a maintenance plan, can give you invaluable peace of mind that your vehicle is as safe as possible.