Saturday, March 13, 2010

Surviving a Car Recall

Lately we have heard about many products being recalled. There is a consumer protection magazine report called "Consumer Reports" that is sent out every month to inform consumers of products that are recalled and identifies any possible dangers of using the recalled products. Most recently we have heard of the recalls from auto manufacturers. The biggest recall was by Toyota who had to testify before Congress about the cause of the recalls and what the company plans to do to prevent future recalls.

Toyota is currently considering recalling the Toyota Corolla model for complaints of a steering problem. Toyota has recalled 8.5 millions cars in the past four months due to various malfunctions. Here are 5 ways to survive a car recall.

1. Call. Contact the auto manufacturer directly to get accurate information on the model being recalled.

2. Research. Find out what the process is to get your car fixed and if you will be compensated for the recalled part or for the loss of using your car while you car is being repaired.

3. Status. Check on the status of your car repair frequently and document all phone calls with the car dealer and car manufacturer. Ask for a letter in writing from the car manufacturer stating what model what recalled and the process for addressing the recalled model.

4. Car Fund. Credit an emergency car fund so if you have to get your car repaired you are not greatly impacted financially. This also minimizes using your credit card to cover the cost of repairs.

5. Purchase. When purchasing a car do your research and check to see if any of the auto manufacturer's models have been recalled, the date of the recall and what the company did to address the recalled models. Also check the financial stability of the company. Don't purchase cars that may be discontinued because it may be hard to find parts for the car. Make sure you buy a car that has been rated as a good buy.

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