Car Recalls

3 min read
Why you should not ignore them!

The cars we drive today are complex machines. Even though a car on the whole is represented and manufactured by one company, it is built up from many components that have likely come from different companies. That’s why car recalls usually do not just affect one make or model. Take, for instance, the infamous faulty airbag fiasco by Takata: the recall affected more than 50 million vehicles worldwide, including 150,000 vehicles in Singapore, making it the largest recall in motoring history.

In Singapore, when a vehicle is recalled, motor dealers have to notify the Land Transport Authority and the owners of the affected vehicles. They will also arrange for rectification works, if any. The recall may mean that you do not get to use our cars for the period of checks and possible rectification. Some of you may neglect or decline to participate in a recall for that reason alone; other reasons could be the long duration allocated to the repair work and whether consumers need to foot the bill for them.

When you ignore or delay a response to a recall, you are potentially putting yourself, your passengers, and other road users at risk. A car part defect may increase the likelihood of a car crash. In the Takata case, their faulty airbags were prone to exploding when deployed, and these explosions have resulted in serious injury and even deaths.

If you think recalls can be ignored because the defective part, say the floor mat, seems harmless, think again. Back in 2007, Toyota had to recall more than five million vehicles because their cars had floor mats that tend to move forward when the car was in motion. This interfered with the accelerator pedal, causing unexpected surges in speed. This issue eventually led to 89 deaths, and further recalls and lawsuits down the years.

From components affecting parking and transmission to ignition and engine mounts, no part is too small or irrelevant to ignore. Their combined function and purpose is paramount to effectively driving your car. If the manufacturers themselves deemed them faulty, it would be wise to heed them. Though it is highly recommended to heed a recall, you have the right to refuse to go for one if you feel strongly that it is not necessary. However, even if the recall is not life threatening, it may concern the reliability and service of your car.

As for paying for a recall, the official dealer or importer in Singapore will usually bear the cost of any rectification works. However, if you bought your car second-hand, do note that the seller, whether a private seller or used car dealer, is not obliged to inform you of any recall exercise, and it is still unclear which party bears the cost of rectification works. The law only requires the manufacturer’s official representative, such as an authorised dealer or importer, to initiate a recall. If you wish to check whether your car is affected by a recall or any recall-related services, visit the onemotoring site for more information.