The list of makes and models of the automobiles being recalled worldwide so far this year continues to climb to near record levels and it is leaving many people wondering if their vehicle is one of the millions with problems in their designs.
In many cases, however, people don't know where to go to have a potential problem fixed or to see if their particular vehicle is one being called back into the shop for service by the manufacturer.
In Alpena local dealerships have had to address questions from customers regarding vehicle safety, recalls and how to take the necessary steps to fix the problem to make sure the cars are safe to drive.
Cliff Anschuetz Chevrolet warranty administrator Mike Romanowski said the simplest way for someone to know if their vehicle is subject to recall is to stop in the dealership and a member of the staff can take information from the car or truck and check it in the manufacturer database.
"The best, pain-free way to find out if your car has been recalled is to bring in your vehicle identification number and we can enter it into the GM website and find out everything we need to know about the vehicle," Romanowski said. "It will notify us of any issues and tell us when the part will become available and just get an overview of what is going on with that particular vehicle."
Providing the VIN at any dealership will allow the workers to get to the bottom of any issue and if it does fit the recall specifications, an appointment is made, the work done, all at no charge.
Dean Arbour Ford Service Manager Matt Coulon said people who own Ford vehicles can stop in and they will run the VIN as well. He said people also can do it themselves on the fordowner.com website. Coulon said there are people who bring their cars in because they had heard about recalls on the news or from a friend. He said often the vehicle in question is not one outlined in the recall, but check all the same.
"We do get a lot of inquiries and we will always check, but there are a lot of times the vehicle is not on the recall list," Coulon said. "People see news about them, or read about them and sometimes it gets spread incorrectly by word of mouth, but we will always check and show the customer the results."
Alpena Buick GMC General Manager Lucas Shepherd said consumers are knowledgeable about issues surrounding the auto industry and they would rather have an expert look into any issues with their vehicle than risk having something bad take place.
"Obviously if they hear there could be a safety issue they will contact us and that is just human nature to want to stay safe," Shepherd said. "We will do everything in our power to give the customer peace of mind and make the repairs as quickly as possible. If that means putting them in a different car to drive, we'll do that."
Thunder Bay Chrysler owner Eric Stewart said since the first of the year, every manufacturer has been impacted by recall issues and it isn't going to slow down any time soon. He said he believes the reason recalls are being done more often is because of how sophisticated vehicles are today and how many features are packed into them.
"It the technology in them. We have the technology for cars to do all these amazing things people want them to do, but often the technology isn't perfected yet," Stewart said. "A car now is basically like a rolling computer and when you bring a car in, we have to use a computer to talk to the car's computer. There is going to continue to be problems until some of the technology is perfected. Technology is moving so fast, it is hard to keep up and people want these features, so I only see recalls continuing to happen more often."
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com.