Ford is the latest manufacturer to issue a vehicle recall for a safety-related problem, but it’s not unique. Each year around a million vehicles are recalled for repairs or checks.
Overheating is one of the most common faults. Ford issued a safety recall in January on the 1.6 litre EcoBoost engine after overheating led to the cylinder head cracking, which allowed oil to leak into the engine compartment causing some car engines to catch fire.
Other manufacturers with similar issues include Audi, which recalled 1.2 million cars with overheating coolant pumps in April and BMW, which recalled 88,000 3 Series cars over a heating fault in May.
If your car is recalled, what should you do?
Contact the manufacturer
Engine and mechanical issues like overheating are excluded under insurance policies, so you should go direct to the manufacturer first.
When a fault is registered with the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), you’ll be contacted by the manufacturer by post, phone or email.
In most cases, the repair will be done for free. Recently, Ford has promised to refund owners of the 1.0 litre EcoBoost engine who have already paid for repairs linked to a nylon coolant pipe, which failed at high temperatures.
If you’re unsure whether your car is affected by a vehicle recall, you can use the DVSA website’s search function to find out.
What if your car has caught fire?
Car fires are extremely rare. Insurers will typically inspect all fires to find out the cause and take action depending on the result.
If insurance was paid out and as part of its investigation the insurer had sufficient proof that it was a manufacturing fault, they’d look to resolve it directly with the manufacturer. Sometimes manufacturers have paid customers directly for a fault they’ve acknowledged as theirs.
If you’re buying a vehicle, whether new or second-hand, make sure you research whether there have been any vehicle recalls.