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Don't panic if your car is recalled, here's what you can do

October 30, 2014 14:28 IST

Customers would not have to pay for the additional repairs to their Brio, Amaze or CR-V, built between September, 2011 and July, 2014, recalled by Honda Cars India to replace faulty airbags. 

The Honda dealers will take care of the repairs without charging anything. The auto major has recalled 2,338 cars.

How do buyers get to know if their car needs repairs?

Those whose cars have been called back can check whether their vehicles would be covered under the recall campaign by submitting a 17-character alpha-numeric vehicle identification number (VIN) on the website of the vehicle maker.

Buyers of cars other than the Honda model can also avail of this facility.


The VIN provides clues as to a vehicle’s background, including the name of the manufacturer, the model year, where it was built and even the production sequence number, indicating the exact point at which the vehicle came off the assembly line. In other words, it records the vehicle’s identity. 

Customers can spot the VIN on the front door frame, on the dashboard near the windshield, on the engine, on the steering wheel or column, the car’s registration book or on the insurance policy.

Last month, when Maruti Suzuki recalled nearly 70,000 units of Swift, Ritz and Dzire, customers were requested to fill in the chassis number (MA3 or MBH followed by a 14-digit alpha-numeric number) on its website. The chassis number is embossed on the vehicle ID plate and is also in the vehicle invoice and registration documents.

Besides this, individual letters are sent by the auto company or by the dealers to car owners. The customer relationship manager concerned then fixes an appointment with the car owner to get the car fixed.

“The process is streamlined and orderly. There are rarely any flaws in the process. The management is very particular that the recall be done in the shortest possible time,” said a Honda Car India official. 

In some cases, where the replacements require a longer time, auto companies do not hesitate to provide a spare car to the customer upon request. However, this is seen usually in cases involving premium sedans.

Parts replacements (on account of the recall) and labour charges are not charged to the car owner. In situations where the cars are old, car companies use databases of insurance companies and regional transport office. For instance, the recall of Accord and CR-V built in 2002-03 in July required Honda to track down the owners. 


From a buyer’s perspective, getting the car repaired, even if the problems seem trivial, is necessary. In the future, if there is a problem in the car due to these small issues, the insurer is likely to reject claims. 

Say, if there are problems with the brakes’ control or rear tyres, leading to an accident, the insurer will only partially honour or not honour claims at all, under the pretext that the policyholder was aware of the problem but did not resolve it. Similarly, if a power steering is jammed or too loose, then, too, the wheels could be impacted. 

“If you know there is a problem with the car and then, there is an accident because of the defect, getting claims honoured will be difficult,” says an insurance agent.