Amy, Eufaula, Ala.

There is no time limit on when vehicle owners can get free repairs for safety-related recalls, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says.

However, there are two good reasons you should have safety recalls repaired as soon as possible. First, ignoring a recall could endanger you and others. Second, given the recent turmoil in the auto industry, you can’t count on your dealer, the brand or even the manufacturer to be in business forever, so git-R-done while you can.

Even if a brand disappears (like Pontiac, for example) but the manufacturer stays in business (such as General Motors), you should still be able to get the parts and service you need related to a recall, but finding those parts or someone to do the work could take longer or force you to go well out of your way.

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Note that the absence of a time limit applies only to safety recalls in which the manufacturer and/or NHTSA has determined that a vehicle has a safety defect or does not comply with federal safety regulations. Technical Service Bulletins, “service adjustments” and goodwill parts replacement offered by manufacturers that are not safety-related usually have time or mileage limits.

One final note: Manufacturers do not have to provide free repairs for safety recalls on vehicles that are more than 10 years old at the time the recall is issued.

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Answered by Rick Popely on August 8, 2010 | Permalink

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