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What To Do If Your Car Is Recalled?

Posted in Buyer Advice

What To Do If Your Car Is Recalled?

Car manufacturers will send a recall notice to you if your cars Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or build date model has been affected.

If you’re afraid that your car has been affected by a recall, but haven’t been contacted by your manufacturer, here are a few tips on what to do.


If the manufacturer of your car has sent you a letter, they will give their recommendations on what you should do. This will include contacting the dealership you bought your car from, or going to your closest service centre, in order to have your car seen by factory-trained technicians.

You may not receive a manufacturer’s notice for several reasons.

Because the manufacturer goes from your address that you supplied to the dealer when you first bought the car, they may not know where to send the letter if you’ve moved in the time since buying. If you’ve bought the car second-hand from a private buyer, you may not receive the letter, as the manufacturer may not have you listed as the contact person for the car.


When a recall is issued, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) keeps track of all the product recalls in the country, and may issue a list of cars affected listed by their 17-character Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN).

If you think that your vehicle could be affected, you can visit the ACCC recalls site and search for your vehicle. This will provide you with a detailed look at the recall; including which cars are affected and possibly the VIN list of affected vehicles. For extremely large recalls, it sometimes isn’t practical to publish these numbers, so they may rely on your car’s model year and build date to give an indication of which vehicle models were affected (e.g. Built between May 2002 (05/02) and September 2003 (09/03)).

You can usually find the VIN, build date and compliance date on a plate bolted somewhere on your car, the location should be outlined in your car’s manual. If you can't readily access your VIN, it is usually available on your registration notice or insurance policy documentation.

If your car is currently registered in Queensland, you can use the Department of Transport & Main Roads website to find your VIN from your numberplate, this is also available on the QLD Rego Check app available for iPhone and Android smart devices.


The Australian government has now ordered over 2 million cars affected by the Takata airbag recall to be compulsorily serviced - some newly affected, others that were already part of the voluntary recall announced last year. Because of the widespread installation of the faulty part, car manufacturers have set up dedicated sites to checking if your car is affected:

Holden Australia does not yet have a dedicated site, however you can contact their Customer Care department for more information.

As of January 2019, no Kia models are affected. Some models of the 2006-2014 Ford Mustang are also affected - although this was a 'grey' import model, never officially sold by Ford dealerships, contact Ford Australia for more information on recall servicing.


If you don’t receive a manufacturer’s notice, you can call the nearest dealership that specialises in your cars’ brand.

The dealership should be able to either tell you directly if your car has been affected, or pass your call onto the service department who can confirm if your car has been recalled, and schedule your service appointment.


Recalls are issued for many reasons. Some cover minor manufacturing defects such as components that affect the normal operation of the car, while some are issued because their cars may become unsafe to the driver, passengers or other road users.Large recalls often make headlines, but you may not feel compelled to take your car in because it’s inconvenient or you think that the subject of the recall won’t affect you. It’s important to not ignore a recall, even if it has been issued long after your car has been new and you feel like it’s not worth the time to bring it in to a service centre.

There is a difference between Active Recalls and Future Recalls. Active recall means that you should have your airbag replaced now, and you should contact the manufacturer as soon as possible to arrange an appointment for replacement.

If your vehicle is not currently under active recall, it is important to check again in the future as recall action may be initiated for your vehicle later. You should ensure that your manufacturer has your current contact details so that they can notify you if needed.Your vehicle manufacturer is required to publish a recall initiation schedule and searchable recall database on their website by 1 July 2018.

The recall database will allow you to check the recall status of your vehicle by searching for its VIN, and the recall initiation schedule provides the dates of all recalls (active and future).


As cars start to share more parts based on global platforms, recalls start to become larger and it can seem like nearly every car is unsafe!

If you think your car is affected, speak with the friendly team at your nearest Motorama dealership, to find out the next steps. We specialise in Toyota, Holden, HSV, Mitsubishi, Ford, Kia and Nissan – some of the largest brands in Australia, so if you think that a recall may affect you, we’ll do our best to direct you to the right person to speak to at our service centres.

Our friendly service advisors and expert service technicians will have your car back on the road as soon as possible, using the best quality parts and accessories approved by manufacturers. To book your recall service, get in touch with your local Motorama dealership and we promise to get you back on the road as soon as possible!

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