Does having a recall on my car negate an insurance claim?

Toyota recently announced it was recalling 7.43 million cars, trucks & SUVs worldwide.  The issue is faulty power window switches that can cause fires.  More than a dozen models from 2005 to 2010 are affected and include;

  • Camry 2007 – 2009 models
  • Tundra pickup
  • RAV4 SUV
  • Yaris 2007 & 2008 models
  • Sequoia SUV
  • Scion xD and xA cars
  • Highlander SUV 2008 model
  • Corolla & Matrix 2009 models

The faulty power window switch is mounted on the driver’s door.  Apparently grease wasn’t applied evenly to the switch leading to excessive friction.  The friction can result in smoke and a fire.  There have been no incidents of accidents, however there have been 161 fires and 9 people injured.  There have been no deaths.

Occasionally I’m asked by a prospect or client if they had a claim that was related to a recall, would their insurance cover it.  The answer is yes.  During the 2009 “sudden acceleration” issue with Toyota, which turned out to be poorly designed floor mats for Prius models, many insurers announced they would pay claims for accidents resulting from sudden acceleration.

While no such announcement has come out as of yet for the faulty window switches, I believe the insurance companies will process any fire as a comprehensive claim and then subrogate against Toyota.  The best action though is to take your car in if it is one of the models listed and have it checked out first.

If you’re curious whether there has been a recall on your vehicle, talk with your dealer’s service department or check out which provides a handy list with links on specific recalls.  You can also Google “recall” and your car model with year and you may find out something about your vehicle.  When I conducted a Google search for car recalls from 2005 to 2012 there are a number of vehicles listed including;

  • 2004 to 2005 Jeep Liberty – rear suspension control arm
  • 2011 to 2013 Ford Fiestas – side airbag failures
  • 2005 to 2012 Toyota Tacomas – steering wheel cable design
  • 2005 Chrysler 300 – automatic transmission issue
  • 2005 Nissan 350Z – external lighting issue
  • 2005 BMW 5-Series – electrical system battery cables
  • 2005 Honda Odyssey – frontal sensor & control module for air bags
  • And many more

Take 5 minutes and look up your car, truck or SUV to find out what recalls your model may have.  If there’s something there, contact a dealer’s service department and see what you need to do to get it fixed.  That’s a whole lot easier than having something happen to a friend or loved one!

If you have a question or an experience you want to share with us, please post it in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.

Evie Wise
Evie Wise


Evie Wise
Evie Wise

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