Ignoring Recall Could Affect Car Insurance

March 19, 2010

03/16/10 5:07 pm   |   reporter: Dennis Buterbaugh   producer: Myles Snyder


Harrisburg, Pa. – Even though the national media seems to focus only on Toyota, there are lots of recalls for other car makers too.

“I got a recall for my GMC, for the windshield wipers, for malfunctioning. Usually it’s for a safety issue or something like that,” said Ed Stup of Enola, who took his vehicle to the dealer right away.

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department said that’s exactly what you should do. If you’re in a crash that’s tied to a safety recall you ignored, your insurance premium could go up or your coverage could be canceled.

“If you failed to respond to a recall notice and you’re involved in an auto accident as a result of a damaged or recalled part, your insurance company could take that into consideration,” department spokesperson Rosanne Placey said.

For example, Ford last year issued a recall due to a cruise control switch that could cause fires in rare instances. If you ignored the recall and then had a fire claim, the insurance company could use that to raise your rates or cancel coverage.

What insurance companies are not allowed to do is deny claims because you drive a car that’s been involved in a recent safety recall. “Insurance companies cannot and should not cancel your coverage or deny claims because you have a vehicle that’s part of an auto recall,” Placey said.

Drivers who have had their vehicle recalled said most dealers make it easy to correct. “You just mention to them that you got the recall and they take your information and they schedule to get you in,” said Michelle Mock of Pottsville. “I’ve never had any problems.”

To check on any possible recalls for your vehicle, visit the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at www.nhtsa.gov.

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