Hundreds of different types of cars are recalled due to safety concerns every year, but how do you check if you car is one of them?
The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA for short) monitor safety defects reported to them by consumers or car manufacturers across three different segments; Vehicles, Tyres and Wheels in the aftermarket and also Pedal Cycles.
VOSA operates a web check service where you can search by manufacturer, model and date of production of car. Typically, recalls cover only a small selection of vehicles built during a specific period. The vehicle identification number or VIN (sometimes referred to as the chassis number) is the reference used by car brands to work out when a particular vehicle was built, and these references are used on the VOSA website so you can easily see if your car is involved in a safety recall. Your car may be registered in one year, but built the previous year so it is important to look at when it was built, not when it was bought.
The DVLA maintains a database of registered keepers of vehicles, but it is the supplier of the car who ‘should take all reasonable action to contact affected owners.’ Owners receive a letter from the supplier explaining the reasons for a recall and what they should do about it.
Many recalls are for what might be perceived to be minor issues, such as faulty lights, but others can be for more serious concerns such as risk of fire or brake malfunction.
Franchised dealers are happy to help with actions to correct faults that are subject to a recall, and many users will have been in for a service and been informed that a minor procedure has taken place to fix a fault they didn’t even know about. The UK operates a very robust recall service, but errors in vehicle records, and changes of address and keepership that are not documented cause thousands of vehicles to slip through the net each year.
You can check if your vehicle is subject to a recall at the VOSA website here