Volkswagen announced that it is recalling about 117,000 cars in Canada. The reason is a faulty part that increases rollaway risk, by allowing keys to be removed from the ignition even when a car is not in park.
For VW owners, this may raise some alarm bells. But the company states there are not yet any known accidents as the result of the defect. The recall starts on October 11 of this year, when the company will place a revised part in the affected cars. If you're impacted by the recall, you'll probably have to visit a dealership at that time to get the fix in place.
But what if you're not able to comply with the recall right away? The effect on your auto insurance might surprise you -- as might some of the ways you might be held responsible for an accident.
What Happens in a Recall?
After a defect is confirmed, an automaker will typically arrange to have the fix available at no charge. If you bought your car new, you should get direct notification from the car company. If you have a used car, you may have to depend on recall notices in the media or posted on the Transport Canada site.
What the carmaker doesn't have to do is make it convenient for you to get the car fixed. They don't have to provide compensation for lost time or use of your vehicle during the repair, although some may voluntarily choose to do so.
How Do Recalls Affect Your Car Insurance?
Your insurer won't force you to comply with a recall. But you do face some repercussions if you fail to do so. Technically, any accidents that happen as the result of a manufacturer's defect may be the manufacturer's fault, and the insurance company may be able to get compensation from the automaker.
However, car maintenance is your responsibility. According to a standard auto insurance policy in Ontario, any mechanical failure or breakdown isn't covered unless it's the result of an insured peril, like a collision. So it's a good idea to comply with the recall as soon as you're able, and let your insurer know you've done so.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Some drivers may feel uneasy about the delay between learning about a recall and getting the car fixed. In the case of VW, drivers won't be able to get the repairs until at least October 11. Even at that time, there may be a period of time before they can make an appointment.
Even more unsettling is the thought that many car owners are driving vehicles with unknown or undiscovered defects. Even the most prudent drivers have to rely on the car maker's assertion that their autos are safe. You can keep yourself safe by staying informed of recalls, and performing regular maintenance on your vehicle.
Get the Latest News on Car Insurance
A car recall is a good opportunity to review all risks associated with your vehicle. One place to start is by checking out auto insurance quotes at InsuranceHotline.ca. Whether you're in the market for new coverage or just want to stay up to speed on the latest offerings, that information is available to you.
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