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Being Mindful About Vehicle Safety Recalls

CarProof, purveyor of vehicle history reports, has released a rather disturbing piece of information from a recent study conducted by the company. Approximately 20% of used vehicles being sold online in Alberta have an unfixed safety recall issue. This may be bad news for Albertans who are either in the market to buy a used car, or have recently purchased a pre-owned automobile.

Buying a Used Car with Caution

You can save money by choosing to purchase a used vehicle, but buying one can feel like taking a gamble. If you end up with a car that has hidden problems, you could end up spending a great deal of money on repair bills down the road, effectively negating any initial savings. And the last thing you want to do is put you and your family at risk by driving something that is unsafe. How can you take the guesswork out of selecting a used vehicle?

Vehicle Safety Recalls

  • Order a vehicle history report. A dealership may offer to provide you with one free of charge, or you might have to pay a small fee for the document, but having access to this report is always a good idea. Here, you will be able to see whether or not the car you're looking at has ever been involved in a major collision and what repairs have been done. You will also learn the vehicle's safety recall status.
  • Check the status of the vehicle online. If you are very interested in buying a particular car, take the time to visit the Motor Vehicle Safety Recalls Database in order to see if the vehicle has been subject to a recall. You can also go to the auto manufacturer's website to check the recall status by using the car's 17 digit vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Have the vehicle checked out by a mechanic of your choosing. This is the best way to catch any internal issues that may not be visually apparent. And while you'll most likely pay out of pocket for this extra precaution, you'll probably find that it is an investment worth making in the long run.

By making yourself aware and informed, you can confidently approach a used car purchase. Now, how can you be certain that the vehicle you're currently driving is absolutely safe?

Is Your Car Problem-Free?

You should receive notification if your car is ever included in a safety recall. However, if you bought your vehicle after a recall happened, you may not be aware of a particular problem. Just to be on the safe side, you should either go to the Motor Vehicle Safety Recalls Database or visit the auto manufacturer's website and check for your car. Even if you don't suspect that your vehicle is defective in any way, it never hurts to be 100% sure.

If your car isn't listed among those that have been recalled, but you think that there is a manufacturing defect that has not yet been reported, you can report the potential problem to Transport Canada's Defect Investigations and Recalls division. Fill out the Defect Complaint Form or call 1-800-333-0510. Here, you can also report unsafe tires or malfunctioning child car seats.

When should you suspect that you're dealing with a manufacturing defect? Report a problem if it:

  • Seems to originate at the design, manufacturing or assembly stage.
  • Interferes with the safe functioning of the vehicle (or tires/car seat).
  • Directly endangers the safety of any person in the vehicle.
  • Does not seem to be due to everyday wear and tear, a lack of proper maintenance or owner negligence.

You can never be too cautious where automobile safety is concerned. Lives are saved when manufacturing defects are found and reported, so don't hesitate to speak up if you feel that your car is somehow flawed on the design level.

When Your Credit Has Flaws

If you need to buy a car, but know that your credit history is less than perfect, Canada Auto Loan can help you with financing. While we are not lenders, we can connect you with a dealer in your area who is qualified to work with your situation. This dealer will forward your information to a lender who can look past your credit score in order to approve you for an affordable auto loan. There is no cost for our service, and you will be under no obligation to buy when you fill out our fast and secure online application.