Everyone's gearing up for summer travel. No doubt while we RVers are busy planning trips and budgeting for vacation expenses, the last thing we'd expect is to have our RV, or even an appliance within our RV, recalled, but it happens more than we like to think.
Who Issues RV Recalls
When lives or property are at risk because of a product defect, a recall is issued. RV-related recalls come under the jurisdiction of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA is one of over a dozen Department of Transportation (DOT) agencies created to oversee and enforce safety regulations. NHTSA is responsible for setting and enforcing safety standards for motor vehicles, including investigating safety defects and issuing recalls for whatever travels our highways.
Defects That Aren't Recalled
When the product is a major item, such as an RV, the ramifications can be serious. This is your home, if only for a few weeks, and if it's a motorhome, it's both your home and vehicle. You fill it with possessions that you believe are important enough to keep with you, even for just weekend trips or vacations. More importantly, you fill your RV with people you love. Don't hesitate to report defects as soon as you find them.
You can file a safety complaint on the safercar.gov site under Defects & Recalls, Safety Complaints. Either Click the “file a safety complaint” link or call. The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was setting up a consumer complaint system effective March 2011. It also gives access to recalled products that may be used in your RV.
Why You Weren't Told About an RV Recall
One of the problems consumers face is not knowing that a recall has been issued, or that the product they are purchasing will eventually have a recall issued.
While most manufacturers make their best efforts to notify owners of their products when a recall is issued, they don't always reach every owner. They may have only your initial registration on file, with only the contact information that was current at the time you purchased your RV.
Unless the manufacturer knows that you have possession of a recalled RV or component, it can't always get the information to you. If you purchased a used RV, or even moved since you registered your warranties, there is a chance you might not receive a recall notice. If you purchased your RV from a private party, there's even less likelihood that the manufacturer will know to contact you. In that case, what can you do?
Where to Find Recall Information
Almost every RV manufacturer has issued a recall at one time or another, so it's probably a good idea to look up your RV periodically even when you haven't heard of any recalls. While you're on the recall site, look up your tow vehicle, too.
Checking periodically with the NHTSA website is one way to keep up with their monthly list of recalls. Through Safercar.gov you can search for RV recalls based upon the make and model of your RV, whether a motorhome, travel trailer, or fifth wheel.
Other organizations try to report recalls as they are issued and many of these are online. Websites such as the Auto Recalls for consumers (ARFC) post recall summaries for each make and model giving you a little easier access than through safercar.gov, but may not be as complete or as current. Your manufacturer may list recalls on their website. If not, you may be able to find out about recalls by calling their customer service office. They should be able to tell you about any parts, appliances, or components that were included in manufacturing your RV.