One area of concern for New Hampshire residents and drivers everywhere is auto recalls. This highly-charged topic has taken center stage in the press for good reason: a disclosure by auto retailers selling used cars with open recalls is not required by federal law and varies on the state level—as well as the dealership level. In other words, it is at the discretion of the dealer to reveal whether or not you are buying a used car with a recall.
Thankfully, we have resources to safeguard our interests. With a little detective work, you can find out if a used car you’re interested in is safe for driving. To find out if your used car is subject to a recall, visit the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at their Recall Lookup by VIN
page. Also thankfully, some dealers will reveal there is an open recall and will go as far as fixing the recall. AutoNation
is one such dealer with a recall-free policy. However, many still fall through the cracks which can threaten the safety of you and your passengers. Compounding matters still further, you may also find yourself having to foot the bill for minor or major repairs, which can get quite costly.
Which Recalls Will Cost You the Most in New Hampshire?
‘More-than-normal frame corrosion’ is the most expensive recall, costing an average of $4,240, according to an article with research culled by Recall Masters. Because this is a problem attributed to colder climates, New Hampshire drivers should take heed. The least expensive used car recall repair was listed as ‘rear axle grinding noise with vibration,’ draining you of around $678. To see the full auto recall repair list, view the full article here.
Auto Recall Disclosures in New Hampshire
You may not think new cars have recalls, but in fact they do. In this case, federal law requires car manufacturers to contact the car owner within sixty days with notice of the safety recall. Once the car changes owners is where disclosure is not enforced by law. What the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does require is that a Buyers Guide must be displayed on used cars for sale in lots. Information in the Buyers Guide is to help protect the best interests and safety of the buyer, and includes:
• If the used car has a warranty or is being sold “as-is”
• Percentage of repair cost the dealer is responsible for (under warranty)
• The importance of getting all promises in writing
• Which potential major mechanical and electric problems to be aware of
• Keep the Buyers Guide handy
• Have the used car inspected by an independent mechanic
Important Note on the New Hampshire Buyers Guide
Louisiana, New Hampshire, and Washington require different Buyers Guide disclosures on “as-is” sales. If you do not receive this disclosure on your used car from the dealer, you can contact the New Hampshire Attorney General directly for this information.
Hindsight is 20/20. When it comes to the safety of yourself and your passengers, it’s best to put on your detective hat on now to clear that used car you’re considering for a brighter tomorrow.