Manufacturers should recall vehicles when they become aware of a safety problem. The manufacturer carries the repairs out free of charge and DVSA oversees the recall system.
DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn, said: “DVSA’s priority is to protect you from unsafe vehicles and drivers.
“We closely monitor the recall process to ensure that faults are communicated to vehicle owners and repairs are carried out in a timely manner.
“If you have concerns about the safety of your vehicle or are unhappy with a manufacturer’s response to your enquiry, then it’s important that you let us know so we can investigate.”
To raise awareness, DVSA will use social media to issue alerts highlighting specific vehicle recalls, with a focus on encouraging people to share the details with their friends and family.
This new approach will support the existing DVSA email alerts service.
Later in 2017, information about vehicle recalls will be added to DVSA’s MOT history check service, enabling consumers to see any recalls that have affected individual vehicles.
When a vehicle is recalled, manufacturers might also give advice on any steps the driver can take to help keep them and their family safe until they make the repairs. DVSA is encouraging drivers to follow this advice.
Some vehicle parts and accessories, such as child car seats and tyres, aren’t registered to drivers in the same way as vehicles, so manufacturers can’t always trace the owner. It’s vital that all drivers check for safety recalls that affect their vehicle, its parts or accessories. They can visit www.gov.uk/vehicle-recall to check for recalls. Repairs or replacements are usually free of charge.
DVSA monitors the time it takes the manufacturer to fix the affected vehicle, part or accessory and expects manufacturers to carry out these repairs as soon as possible.
The agency is also urging drivers to report ‘serious safety defects’ to the manufacturer as soon as they become aware of them. These are defects in the way the vehicle is designed or made that’s likely to cause injury or death, and happen suddenly and without warning. Things that can be found during routine maintenance and servicing, or are caused by misusing the vehicle, aren’t classed as serious safety defects.
Any driver can follow this up with a report to DVSA if they aren’t satisfied with how the manufacturer is dealing with their concerns, and DVSA will investigate it and tell the driver what action is being taken.
This can be done at www.gov.uk/vehiclerecalls, where drivers can also find out more about the process.