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What Happens If My Car Is Recalled and Can’t Be Fixed?

  Norman Taylor & Associates
  April 13, 2024

If you’re a car owner, you may be familiar with recalls. A recall occurs when an auto manufacturer discovers a safety defect or non-compliance with vehicle safety standards. In such cases, the manufacturer is required to take action to rectify the issue.

However, what happens when a recall is announced and there’s no immediate fix available? Find out below!


What Is a Recall?

A recall is a process initiated by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) or the manufacturer itself when a safety defect is identified in a vehicle. The defect could be related to various parts, such as the engines, brakes, airbags, or other critical systems that affect the car’s and its occupants’ safety.

When a recall is issued, the manufacturer is responsible for notifying affected owners and providing a remedy for the defect; this can involve repairs, part replacements, or other corrective actions. In most cases, recalls are accompanied by detailed instructions for owners to proceed and get their vehicles fixed.


Why Are Recalls Announced Without a Fix?

There are several reasons for this. Firstly, recalls are issued under the supervision of the NHTSA, and automakers are legally required to notify consumers of safety defects as soon as they are discovered and confirmed; this means that recalls may be initiated while the automaker is still working on engineering a solution.

Another reason for delays is the availability of parts. In some cases, there may be a shortage of replacement parts, making it challenging for automakers to fix all affected vehicles simultaneously. Supply chain issues, such as the global chip shortage, can exacerbate the problem.


What Happens If My Car Is Recalled and Can’t Be Fixed?

If you find yourself in a situation where your car is recalled, but there’s no immediate fix available, it can be frustrating and concerning. However, there are steps you can take to address the issue and protect your rights as a consumer:

  1. Contact your local dealership: Reach out to your dealership, especially if the recall says your vehicle is unsafe to drive or recommends limits on its use. You can ask for a loaner car from the dealership while yours is being fixed, even if the notice doesn’t mention it.
  3. Contact the manufacturer: If your dealership can’t help or doesn’t solve the problem, get in touch with the manufacturer. They might have details on when parts will be available and how long repairs might take.
  5. Consider filing a lemon law complaint: If the recall-related issue persists for an extended period, and the dealership or manufacturer fails to address the problem, you might want to consult a lemon law attorney who specializes in your state’s regulations.

Keep detailed records of all communication with the dealership and manufacturer and any expenses incurred from the recall, like rental cars or towing fees. These records will be valuable evidence if you decide to make a lemon law claim.


How Do Recalls Work With Lemon Laws?

Recalls and lemon laws are related but different. A recall happens when the manufacturer finds a safety or performance issue with a vehicle. Lemon laws protect consumers who’ve purchased a car with unrepairable defects.

Sometimes, a recall may escalate into a lemon law claim if the manufacturer fails to remedy the problem within a reasonable number of repair attempts. If you’ve already taken your car in for repairs related to a recall, and the issue persists after multiple attempts, you may have grounds for a lemon law claim. Remember that a recall alone doesn’t automatically classify a vehicle as a lemon.


Wondering If Your Car Is a Lemon? Contact Us!

If you have questions or concerns about a potential lemon law, don’t hesitate to contact Norman Taylor & Associates today! Our California lemon law firm has helped thousands of clients and can assist you in seeking the best possible outcome for your situation.

Call 818-244-3905 or contact us to schedule a FREE consultation about your 2017 or newer vehicle with repeated manufacturer warranty repairs!

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