Can You be Charged for Repairs After Car Recall?

By Tara Baukus MelloLifestyle and

Dear Driving for Dollars, 

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I have a 2007 model-year car that had a problem that was covered under a car recall. The dealer did the repair and all was well until recently. However, when I called the dealership, they told me that I need to pay $110 for them to just look at the car. Is this really true?

-- Jim

Dear Jim,

If your car is having a problem for which the auto manufacturer has issued a car recall , that repair should be completed at no cost to you, even if the problem occurs again. The reason why the dealer may be quoting you a fee to look at your car is that there may be another reason for the problem you are experiencing that is not part of the car recall.

For example, if there is a recall because the car's engine is hesitating when accelerating, this problem could be occurring for numerous reasons and the dealer is taking a guess that, since you already had the recall repair completed, there may be another reason since you said the problem was fixed after the first recall repair.

Ask the dealer to confirm that you will not be charged if the cause of the problem requires the same repair as before. However, if the cause is different, you will be charged for the repair. It doesn't hurt to ask the dealer for a good-will discount. Keep in mind, if the auto manufacturer issues a recall for the second repair, you can get a refund for the cost you paid.

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