| Car Life
Vehicle recall letter

Vehicle safety recalls don’t impact your car insurance rates (phew!). But they can affect your safety on the road. Even if you haven’t received a recall notice in the mail, your car could have an active recall. Read about 2019’s most significant vehicle safety recalls, and learn how to check if there’s an open recall on your car.

What is a Vehicle Safety Recall?

Sometimes, things don’t work like they’re supposed to — and that’s especially common with motor vehicles. To protect consumers and keep drivers and passengers safe on the road, vehicle manufacturers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issue public notices when they discover a potentially dangerous malfunction or faulty part in a vehicle.

Vehicle safety recalls can range from small issues (like backup camera software bugs) to potentially deadly ones (like defective airbags). When a vehicle recall is issued, a manufacturer is legally required to attempt to reach the owner and notify them of the issue. Then, the owner can bring their vehicle to a manufacturer dealership to have the problem repaired, free of charge. Learn all you need to know about vehicle safety recalls, then keep reading to see if your vehicle is affected by one of the biggest safety recalls of 2019.

Acura and Honda Models with Safety Recalls

In February 2019, Honda recalled 437,000 Acura MDX, Acura TLX, and Honda Accord vehicles for an issue relating to engine management software and fuel pumps. This problem could lead to unexpected engine stalls and, ultimately, dangerous accidents.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only major recall for Honda-manufactured vehicles this year. In April 2019, multiple Acura SUV models were recalled for faulty tail lights. Almost 100,000 Acura and Honda vehicles were recalled that same month for timing belts that could separate from the engine, causing a stall while the car was in operation. Since these recalls were widespread and affected multiple model years, it’s a good idea to check for vehicle safety recalls online if you drive any Honda or Acura vehicle. Just type in your VIN on SaferCar.gov (here’s how to find your VIN) to see information on your model and year.

Subaru Vehicle Safety Recalls in 2019

An unexpected chemical reaction to everyday household products caused Subaru brake light switches to malfunction, and the company recalled more than 1.3 million Forester, Impreza, WRX, and STI vehicles as a result. Oddly enough, this issue could also affect the transmission of these vehicles. Faulty brake lights and an unreliable transmission spell double trouble on the road. If you drive one of these Subaru models, check your VIN on SaferCar.gov, and, if necessary, call your local Subaru dealership to get your car fixed ASAP.

Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC SUVs with Vehicle Safety Recalls

When you look at the number of vehicles affected, this one is by far the largest vehicle safety recall of 2019. A whopping 3.5 million Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC SUVs from model years 2014-2018 were found to have faulty vacuum pumps, which could lead to a loss of braking power. Affected models include the Cadillac Escalade, the Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe, and Silverado 1500, the GMC Yukon, and a handful of other models. Fortunately, the fix is relatively straightforward (and free), so be sure to check your vehicle’s VIN online if you drive a Chevy, Cadillac, or GMC.

RAM Pickup Trucks with Open Recalls

Pickup trucks are made for hauling, right? If you own a 2013-2018 Ram 1500, 2500, or 3500 truck, your tailgate latch could unexpectedly break, scattering your load on the roadway and endangering other drivers. Some Ram 1500 trucks may also have a corrupted part in the occupant restraint system that affects airbag and seatbelt function in the event of a crash. Use your RAM’s VIN to check if it has any open recalls at SaferCar.gov.

Ford Explorer Safety Recall for Transmission Parts

Alignment and steering go hand in hand when operating a vehicle, and more than 1.2 million Ford Explorer vehicles were recalled in 2019 for a faulty alignment component that can fracture and inhibit steering control. Yikes! This defect can lead to extensive damage over time if you don’t address it, so bring your vehicle to a Ford dealership soon if you drive a 2011-2017 Explorer.

Multiple Vehicle Recalls for Volkswagen

The summer of 2019 wasn’t exactly a season full of fun for Volkswagen owners. The German automaker issued two massive recalls, each affecting more than 670,000 vehicles of various models and model years. One recall had an easy fix (a headlight issue), but the other was far more complex. A defect in the gear shifting system allowed drivers to remove the key when the shifter wasn’t in “park.” In those instances, the car could unexpectedly roll and collide with anything in its path (always use your parking brake, just in case!).

Vehicle Recalls on Nissan and Infiniti Backup Cameras

Is your Nissan or Infiniti backup camera on the fritz? You’re not alone. Nissan recalled 1.2 million vehicles for this issue, but thankfully the repair is as simple as a quick software update at the dealership. The problem affected Nissan and its luxury division, Infiniti. Some compromised models include the Infiniti Q50 and QX80 and the Nissan Altima, Frontier, and Rogue. The camera problem was fairly widespread, but you can double-check whether your vehicle was affected by calling Infiniti customer service 800-662-6200 or Nissan customer service at 800-867-7669.

Vehicle Safety Recalls for Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep Models

More than 860,000 Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep vehicles were recalled in 2019 for rapidly deteriorating catalytic converters. It’s essential to address this issue for two reasons: first, the catalytic converter is a vital engine part. Second, this specific issue leads to unwanted, potentially dangerous pollutants in an affected vehicle’s emissions. Check your VIN at SaferCar.gov to see if your car or truck has an incomplete recall.

Protect Your Car with Affordable Auto Insurance

Don’t see your car on this list? You could still be at risk! To be sure, head to SaferCar.gov and plug in your car’s VIN to check for active safety recalls.

Even if your vehicle doesn’t have any current, unaddressed recalls, it’s still important to be proactive about your safety on the road. Protect your vehicle, yourself, and your loved ones with affordable car insurance from Direct Auto.