For the safety and bottom line of your fleet, one of your jobs as a Fleet Manager is to keep up with the applicable recalls issued for your vehicles. Catching these notifications and getting vehicles scheduled for service may be a hassle, but the money and frustration that you could save from doing otherwise is well worth it. If you are proactive about reporting issues that come up within your fleet, you could also help initiate a manufacturer recall. Below are our tips to make this whole process digestible and easy to manage.
Most recalls are voluntary by the manufacturer, and the owner of the vehicles is supposed to be properly notified if one is issued. It is best, however, to make sure you have all of your bases covered and keep on the lookout yourself. Also, keep in mind that the statute of limitations for a no-charge recall is 8 years from the original sale date of the vehicle. After that, you may be on your own to pay for fixes. To make sure that you catch them in time, here are a number of great resources that can help.
First off, you can sign up to receive automatic notifications at Recalls.gov. They also have a mobile app if that makes it easier for you. If you prefer a non-government-looking interface, Progressive Insurance has a recall search as well.
Filing a complaint with NHTSA
NHTSA gathers information on their site that they use to initiate recalls. If you experience a vehicle defect (especially a systematic one) within your fleet, it may be a good idea to report it here.
Here at Fleetio, we are always looking for ways to provide our users and blog readers with timely information that might be relevant to their fleets. One of our most reliable sources for recall and safety information is VehicleServicePros.com. Their site and newsletter regularly highlight major recalls that might be pertinent to your vehicles. Carfax also has a recall-specific check you can run that is free of charge - just have your vehicle identification number (VIN) on hand.