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By law, all dealerships in the United States are required to perform recalls free of charge. They are properly equipped and staffed by factory-trained automotive technicians who have been informed of how to handle the task. Most dealerships make it easy to schedule appointments to have recalls corrected. To check if your vehicle has any outstanding recalls, visit the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Correcting these issues makes driving on the road safer for you and everyone around you.

In light of the recent ZF TRW airbag recall, you may be concerned about what happens when you don’t respond to the recall immediately. Aside from being a safety risk, it can also affect your car insurance. Ignoring recalls can affect your insurance in several different ways. Your rate could go up, you could lose your coverage altogether or you could be considered negligent in the event of an accident.

Your Rate May Go Up

Ignoring safety recalls can cause your insurance rate to increase, although if your vehicle manufacturer issues a safety recall, your insurance rate won’t increase immediately. Recalls are the manufacturer’s responsibility, not that of the insurance company. By law, your vehicle’s manufacturer is required to fix your recall free of charge.

If you fail to have this recall performed and ignore it for a long enough period, you could be in hot water. Failure to respond to a safety recall can turn your vehicle into a hazard on the highway. Consequently, if you ignore one that contributes to an accident, your insurance company can raise your rates.

Your Coverage Could Be Canceled

In certain circumstances, your insurance coverage may be canceled if you make a claim that was caused by a recall. For example, Ford had a recall that involved a faulty cruise control switch causing fires. Drivers who failed to have the recall performed and made a fire claim with their insurance companies had their coverage dropped. Having your coverage canceled due to ignoring a recall is rare, but it can happen.

You Could Be Liable for Negligence

The final reason not to ignore a safety recall is to avoid liability. If you ignore a safety recall that causes an accident involving a severe injury, you could be found liable for negligence. As the owner of a car, when a manufacturer sends you a recall notice, it’s your responsibility to have the situation corrected. By failing to do so, you have endangered yourself and others on the road.