Sometimes, faults and flaws get past the manufacturer and the car dealer in quality control and new cars hit the market with potentially dangerous faults. When that happens, the car’s manufacturer or importer will be obliged to issue a safety recall.
The aim is to notify all the original purchasers of the car and have them bring the car in for the necessary repairs or modifications. It’s not a perfect system, though, because sometimes a car that has changed hands already will slip through the net. Other times, the owner just can’t be bothered taking the car in.
It's always worth returning your car to get repaired however, as it's in your best interest as well as the manufacturer's - who will often go out of its way to make the process as swift as possible.
So when you’ve bought a new second-hand car, it’s wise to check the Federal Government’s website productsafety.gov.au/recalls and check whether your car has been the subject of such a recall. From there, you can check with a dealer who will be able to reference records and tell you whether the fix was done on that particular car. If not, fear not; recalls don’t cost the owner a cent – even subsequent owners. That’s the law.