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Got A Recall Notice For A Vehicle Just Fixed? Here's Why

You just had your vehicle in for service and they fixed an open recall. Now you have a notice about that same recall. Here's why this happens.

If you are like us, you are frustrated when you get a recall notice. They always seem to come just after you have had your vehicle serviced! While that is just coincidence and mindfulness in most cases, sometimes the timing is not an accident. If you have ever gotten a recall notice shortly after having your vehicle serviced for that specific recall this is why it happens.

How Recalls Work

The good folks in government are not really that up to speed on how technology works. If you have ever watched Congress grill the CEO of Facebook you understand this instantly. It's like watching a dog try to talk to a dolphin. NHTSA is responsible for recalls and the law says that manufacturers have to use the U.S. Postal Service to deliver your recall notice to the address they have for you on file (First Class Mail no less!) How quaint! And how ridiculous.

The recall notice process generally works quite slowly. In fact, at the time of a recall there is often no solution to the problem yet. Or the parts needed have not yet been produced. So you end up waiting a while. Which is fine, because the vast majority of recalls involve no accidents or injuries.

Recall Notice After You Had It Addressed - Reason 1
If you have recently had your vehicle in for service at the dealer and they mentioned that they addressed a recall only to then get a recall notice for that same issue, it likely is just a false report to you. Most likely, the recall was closed out by the dealer and the snail mail process lagged behind the work being done.

Recall Notice After You Had It Addressed - Reason 2
Another reason why you may have gotten a recall notice after you recently had that same recall addressed by the dealer is that sometimes the first solution does not work and the automaker has to give it a second shot. In this case, you really do need to still have the vehicle looked at.

What To Do If You Are Not Sure About A Recall
The simplest way to find out if you have received an old notice or if there really is an open recall on your vehicle is to phone your dealer's service department and ask them if your vehicle has an open recall. Inform them that you were in recently and thought it was addressed. A Torque News reader recently did this and discovered that their recall had been resolved at their last visit. The call took under 2 minutes.

Always Call Ahead Regarding Recalls
Every service provider wants you to book your appointment online these days. They want to free up their staff from having to talk to annoying customers. They have texts from home to check and internet sites to be looking at rather than helping you! Generally, this is not a bad way for businesses to save money. However, we feel that when it is regarding a recall, you should always phone and speak to a live person at the dealership. First, be sure your specific vehicle is being recalled. Many recalls do not involve all of the cars built during the recall period you read or hear about. Next, be sure the recall has not been done already. Finally, ensure that the dealer is ready to perform the fix.

If you have had a good or bad recall experience and learned a lesson you can share, please tell us about it in the comments below.

In addition to covering green vehicle topics, John Goreham covers safety, technology, and new vehicle news at Torque News. You can follow John on Twitter at @johngoreham.