Long Beach Lemon Law Center
Vehicle Safety Recall

A safety recall involving a motor vehicle can be independently conducted by a manufacturer or ordered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In either case, the manufacturer must file a public report describing the safety-related defect or noncompliance with a Federal motor vehicle safety standard, the involved vehicle/equipment population, the major events that resulted in the recall determination, a description of the remedy, and a schedule for the recall. Manufacturers are obligated to attempt to notify owners of recalled vehicles. 

Each notification letter must contain the following information:

  • describe the defect;
  • the risk or hazard posed by the problem, including any warning of the problem;
  • a brief description of the free remedy, including when the remedy will be available and how long the repair will take; and
  • a description of what the owner can do if the owner is unable to have the problem corrected within a reasonable time and without charge.

Remedy without charge means the repair, replacement, or repurchase of the vehicle or item of equipment that will correct the safety defect. The manufacturer initially decides what the remedy will be, but it may be changed if it is not effective. Owners should have the recall work completed as soon as possible. Recalls involving tires are specifically limited in the Safety Act such that the owner must have the recall work completed within 60 days of receiving notification that it must be done. All other safety recalls are in effect for the life of the product.

The Safety Act does not provide for reimbursement for damages that the defect or noncompliance may have caused, nor for reimbursement for costs incurred in correcting the problem before the manufacturer declared a safety recall. However, owners may be able to recover such expenses, using the California Lemon Law.  In some cases, owners may seek a refund or new replacement vehicle if certain requirements are met.  If you believe your vehicle may be subject to a recall call 1-888-80 LEMON for a free consultation with a qualified Lemon Law Attorney to learn if you qualify for a refund or new replacement vehicle.

When you receive a letter from the manufacturer of your vehicle notifying you that your car has been recalled, you should contact your dealer's service department to arrange for the recall repair. If you then have problems in obtaining the free recall repair, call 1-888-80-LEMON to learn more about your rights under the California Lemon Law.

If you receive a recall notice, immediately do the following:

Step 1: Contact the dealer service manager
The first step is to contact the dealer service manager. You should explain the situation to the manager, identifying the work required as part of a safety recall. If you have the manufacturer's notification letter on the safety recall, it will help explain your concern.

In the vast majority of cases, this will resolve any problems. However, if you do not feel the service manager has answered your concerns completely, then you should contact the manufacturer, Step 2.

Step 2: Contact the Manufacturer
To contact the manufacturer, call the telephone number (usually toll-free) that is provided in the letter sent to you notifying you of the recall. You can also find the telephone number for the manufacturer's local representative or toll free customer service number in the back of the vehicle owner's manual. Once again, you must describe the problem you are having and usually the following information:

  • The make, model, and model year of your vehicle and the vehicle identification number (VIN);
  • Briefly describe the recall and the problem you are having;
  • Identify your dealer and what steps you have taken with the dealer to resolve the matter.

The manufacturer will look into the matter and should be able to resolve your concern within a few days.

If the dealership refuses to perform the recall work without charge, or you believe the recall work performed by the dealership has not corrected the safety defect call 1-888-80 LEMON for a free consultation.

Call Now for Your FREE Lemon Law Case Evaluation!

Call today to learn your rights under the California Lemon Law.  We can review your case over the phone in minutes and give you a plan of action specifically tailored to your case, absolutely free!  Call 1-888-805-3666 today to find out of you qualify for a refund under the California Lemon Law.