FAQs About Recalls

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!

Q: What’s up with the Takata recall?

A: Takata actually has two serious recalls currently active and affecting tens of millions of vehicles. In both cases, it’s possible that the Takata airbags, which have been used by nearly all manufacturers, could explode and create dangerous shrapnel or underinflate. For more information, visit the NHTSA Takata recall hub. If you haven’t already, check your vehicle for this recall right now.

Q: Do recalls have expiration dates?

A: No, recalls do not have expiration dates.

Q: Do recalls show up on a Carfax? 

A: Recalls likely will not show up on a Carfax, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do your own research. Carfax documents will often show repair work and maintenance done to vehicles, so if something stands out, you can research why that repair was made. Otherwise, Carfax has its own recall lookup search tool.

Q: Can I get a loaner vehicle when my car has a recall?

A: This depends on the recall and the dealership. It might be possible to get a loaner vehicle while your vehicle is in the shop, but it’s not guaranteed. Discuss this topic with your dealership before proceeding with any recall work or repairs so you can prepare. 

Your insurance also might have a loaner provision for while your car is in the shop for repairs. Check your policy to confirm.

Q: What will it cost to have a recall repair completed?

A: On recalled vehicles, the blame is solely on the manufacturer, so they are responsible for doing the repair and paying for it. However, there are always very strict circumstances surrounding recalls and specific parts that need to be repaired or replaced, and if a shop does more than that, you might be on the hook for extra costs. It’s also possible that something related to a recall caused additional issues with the vehicle that the dealership would not pay for.

Q: I heard my car has a recall, but the VIN lookup says it doesn’t. Why?

A: Just because you heard the Ford Explorer has a recall does not mean that your personal Ford Explorer is included in that recall. Recalls are identified in part by the time period in which specific vehicles were produced, and the issue is contained to that timespan. So, if the recall issue started March 20, 2021, but your vehicle was produced March 1, 2021, your vehicle would not be included in the recall.

Q: I paid to have a problem fixed on my car, and now there is a recall for that problem. Can I be reimbursed?

A: It’s possible, but it will require strict documentation of your previous repairs, and you’ll need to work closely with your dealership to find out if a reimbursement is possible. Start by calling your local dealership.

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