The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalled 51 million cars and trucks in 2015.
The NHTSA and car manufacturers issue car recalls when it is determined that there is a safety-related defect with a specific model. A car recall can also be issued if the car model does not comply with safety standards set by federal authorities.
When vehicles are recalled, an alert is issued to car owners. The car owner is then required to return the car to the dealership in order for the issue to be repaired. The repair is done at no charge to the vehicle owner. In extreme and rare cases, the entire vehicle may be replaced.
How Vehicle Recalls Affect Insurance Premiums
One of the many thoughts that go through a car owner’s mind when they receive a notice of a car recall is how it will affect their insurance premiums. The following are some things to keep in mind when faced with a vehicle recall.
- Your insurance rates won’t be affected
Your insurance rates shouldn’t be affected by the recall. The insurance company is not responsible for the repairs, the manufacturer is. Your insurance company therefore will have no reason to raise your insurance rates especially if the safety issue is resolved. You will however need to provide proof of paperwork showing your insurance provider that the safety issue was repaired.
- Ignoring a recall may cause insurance rates to rise
When you get a recall notice from your manufacturer, be sure to have the vehicle fixed at the dealership as soon as possible, even if it is a minor problem. Neglecting to get the vehicle repaired may result in an accident. Insurance providers will increase your rates if you ignore the recall notice.
- Insurance rates are higher for cars with repeated recall history
If you’re shopping for a car, it’s a good idea to check the recall history of the model or manufacturer. If a certain vehicle’s make and model has been consistently recalled for safety issues, your Insurance provider could issue higher insurance rates as your vehicle has proven to be unreliable.
- Not all recalls are the same
Some recalls are for small issues, such as a misplaced sticker, and can be fixed quickly. Other recalls are for major issues and could put your safety at risk. It is therefore important to have your car checked as soon as possible.
What to do When You Get a Vehicle Recall Notice
According to a study by J.D. Power, one in six cars on U.S. roadways are unrepaired despite an outstanding vehicle recall. This puts drivers and other road users in danger. When you receive a recall notice, make sure you:
- Contact your dealership
Your car should be returned to the dealership for repair. Don’t take it to your local repair shop. The dealer will have the car repaired at no cost to you. Depending on the issue and the size of the recall, it may take a few minutes or a few months to have your vehicle repaired.
- Contact your insurance provider
Provide your insurance agent with documentation showing that your vehicle has been repaired. This will show that you complied with the recall notice and that your vehicle is safe to drive. Your insurance provider will not increase your rates.
Beyond making sure that your vehicle is safe, it’s important to have insurance that you can depend on. Finally, auto insurance comparisons will help you find an auto insurer that will cover your needs at an affordable price.
Transition, a prototype car made by US company Terrafugia that is licensed to fly as well as drive, has been put on display at the New York International Auto Show.
The car is the first vehicle in the world to have met both the standards of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), according to Cliff Allen, Vice President of Sales at Terrafugia.
This makes it the first “street legal aeroplane”, he said.
Known as the Transition, the versatile vehicle has two seats, four wheels and retractable wings.
It is expected to be available next year, with a price tag in the region of $279,000.
The vehicle currently has an experimental certificate from the FAA, meaning the company has permission to fly it in US airspace for test purposes. The company hopes in time it will gain a light sport aircraft license.
The hybrid vehicle completed its first successful test flight at Plattsburgh International Airport near Montreal in Canada last month.
A retired US Air Force test pilot took the maiden voyage – after volunteering his services.
The Terrafugia Transition has an experimental certificate from the FAA, meaning the company has permission to fly it in US airspace for test purposes
“We are very fortunate to have found him,” said Dr. Samuel Schwegart, an engineer at Terrafugia working on the project.
The vehicle flew at 1,400 feet for eight minutes.
However, important details still need to be worked out from test data, including the stall speed of the aircraft.
There are significant design challenges marrying a roadworthy vehicle with a skyworthy one, according to Dr. Samuel Schwegart.
“We were curious to see how it would take off,” says Dr. Samuel Schwegart.
“Unlike a normal plane, it cannot rock back on its rear wheels at the moment of take-off, because it is designed to be stable as a car on the road.”
The engineers also found that Transition needed more speed than anticipated on take-off, to generate the necessary lift for ascent.
A hard landing was also reported, but nothing of concern, according to Dr. Samuel Schwegart.
“You can pull up at a regular gas station to fill it up,” says Dr. Samuel Schwegart. A full tank holds 23 gallons (87 litres) of fuel.
It requires Premium 91-octane fuel, and does 35 miles to the gallon (6.7l/100km) on the road, and 28 mile (8.4l/100km) in the air.
“The discrepancy is because of drag,” says Dr. Samuel Schwegart.
Although Transition can be stored in a normal garage, it needs a 1,700-foot (520-metre) runway to take off.
According to Terrafugia, this is no problem, as there are 5,000 state airports in the United States. And there are a further 5,000 private ones, which might just mean a simple runway belonging to a farmer in a field.
Terrafugia calculates that you are rarely further than half an hour from a take-off point – and there are apps like Foreflight which will tell you where the nearest one is, whether you are on the ground, or up in the air hoping to come down.
“You just do your pre-flight checks, unfold your wings and away you go,” says Dr. Samuel Schwegart.
The initial target market was existing pilots, but the company is now reaching out to people with no aviation background.
The vehicle offers an “advanced level of freedom in life, more efficiency in personal travel”, according to a company representative.
Terrafugia currently has 100 pre-orders, which in their current small production facility in Woburn, Massachusetts, already means a two-to-three-year backlog.
With a range of 644 miles (1,035 km) on a full tank, the vehicle could in theory make a non-domestic journey. For the time being, however, the vehicle is restricted by its license to flying in the US.