My low (chuckles->) mileage 2009 vehicle has been serviced by an independent brand specialist for the past 5 years. 2 years ago it started having a random emission system fault. The shop changed a part and told me if that did not fix it, it could be a $2-3,000 repair. Since it was only a periodic emissions fault I bought a device to read and reset the fault codes. Once reset the fault would not recur for tens to hundreds of kms so not a worry, but still a worry. That $2-3,000 was an intimidating number.
For reasons not germane here I decided to try a local shop this year, and reviewed the fault with them. They advised the engine is notorious for the fault, is used in multiple brands, and at least one manufacturer was known to provide financial support; they did not know about my manufacturer.
An email to the importer resulted in a ‘take it to XXXX’ and have it assessed for possible factory financial support. I did. The dealer shop explained the process and my potential worst case out of pocket. I decided to sign up for the diagnostic phase.
After they entered my details in their computer up popped 2 manufacturer campaigns on my vehicle, one being the source of my emissions fault and the other a potentially troublesome water pump, both to be fixed gratis and now booked in, and my details!
- Manufacturers are neither required nor seem inclined to proactively contact owners about recall campaigns;
- Independent shops may or may not be aware of recalls and may or may not pass on information. It is a stretch to believe my speciality shop was not aware of a pervasive engine problem, although could have been unaware of factory support, but it questions whether there is value-added from shops proclaiming to be specialists as compared to just ‘good shops’. A hit or miss;
- It can pay to contact your manufacturer to see about outstanding recalls on one’s vehicle, especially if you have a potentially expensive problem that could be a design or manufacturing issue.