What to do when your car is recalled

Would you know what to do if your car has been recalled?

Here are a few tips you can use as a smart consumer to protect yourself and to stretch your dollars:

Check the Recall List. First, check to see if your car is part of the recall. You can do this by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's recall website. You can also use your VIN number to find out. Call the U.S. Department of Transportation vehicle hotline at 888-327-4236.

Consider the Recall Information. Though recalls are generally safety related, a car with a recall isn't necessarily dangerous. The information about your car recall can help determine that. Make an appointment to have the recall addressed at your dealership. Keep in mind if a recall is new or widespread it might take some time before you car can get fixed.

Know Your Rights. Recalls should not cost you anything.

And something else, most recalls are initiated by auto makers, but you can help too. If your think your car has a safety defect, file a complaint with the auto maker and the government.
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