There are currently a lot of cars on the UK’s roads with outstanding recall notices. Recall notices are fairly commonplace, for example, in 2018 BMW recalled 268,000 diesel cars in the UK due to a potential fire risk.
What is a recall notice?
Millions of cars are recalled every year and there are different notices. A Stop Drive Recall notice is very rare and, is as it sounds, the car must not be driven.
A Safety Recall notice is when a fault on a car is likely to cause a significant risk of injury or even death, and that it could be attributed to a failure in a vehicle’s assembly or even the design. The manufacturer or distributer must fix these faults for free. (General Product Safety Regulations). However, drivers can still use the affected cars while they wait for the faults to be fixed.
How will I find out if my car is being recalled?
It is down to the manufacturers to contact the owners of vehicles by using the details from the DVSA. Owners will be contacted by letter or email explaining the potential fault and what needs to be done to rectify it.
If the car wasn’t bought directly from the manufacturer, but from a dealership and if the details with the DVSA aren’t up to date then a manufacturer will not be able to make contact – hence the number of recalled cars still on the road each year. If you are concerned you can do a check online here https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-recall
If you receive a notice, or find out via an online check then you’ll need to contact your local dealer to carry out the repair work. It will be set out in the recall notice that it must be an actual dealership rather than a local garage who carries out the work. This is to ensure it is done to the required standards of the manufacturer. The cost of the work will fall to the manufacturers so you shouldn’t have to pay. Also, it doesn’t matter how old the car is, if you find out it was due for a recall years ago then the manufacturer still needs to pay to rectify it.
What are the penalties to car traders
Rules are in force which make it illegal for a motor trader to sell a car with an outstanding safety recall.
The rules apply to any commercial sales including franchised dealers, online dealers and small independent dealers and breaking the rules could lead to substantial fines or even a prison sentence (or both).
More information can be found here: https://www.tradingstandards.uk/news-policy/news-room/2018/get-safety-recalls-fixed-or-risk-prosecution-dvsa-warns-car-dealers
Last year the MOT changed with the addition of more stringent defect and emissions checks. It is expected that yet more changes will be made to address the issues in relation to recall notices. It has been suggested in consultation with the DVSA, DVLA and car manufacturers, that the MOT should include a check for recalls to ensure drivers aren’t unknowingly driving around in vehicles with potentially dangerous issues. With a simple online check it could be integrated into the MOT. Then, if any repairs need to be carried out in relation to a recall, it can be communicated to the vehicle owner.
But remember, you can check online at https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-recall yourself.
So happy driving and stay safe!