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Why Car Recalls Are Good

Posted by on October 9, 2019 in Stuff with 0 Comments

Whether you bought new or second-hand, there’s always a slight chance of your car getting recalled. In fact, that risk seems to be getting bigger all the time — so far in 2019 there have been a staggering 175 car recall notices issued.

Does that mean the quality of cars is tanking? Is everyone just manufacturing lemon after lemon? Surely it’s a bad thing there are so many recalls so close together?

Well, no.

Cars have always had faults. There have always been defects or safety hazards, often present in millions of cars globally. The reason there are so many recalls these days isn’t because the quality is going down, but because the quality standards, checks and balances manufacturers are beholden to are more stringent.

For a long time, quality standards were lower and faults were allowed to remain in place even after one or more people were seriously injured — or worse. Unfortunately, the cost of paying out a liability claim was significantly less than recalling a vehicle or correcting a problem, so no measures were taken.

Only through tireless campaigning and increasingly damaging liability pay-outs did manufacturers begin taking these matters more seriously. Today, the threshold for recalling a car is fairly low, leading to higher levels of safety for drivers.

Obviously, it’s still a hassle to have a car recalled and follow through with the process. It would be best, of course, if the cars and their parts simply worked perfectly the first time. But between recalling the vehicle and getting a potentially life-ending problem fixed, or driving around in a death trap obliviously — we know which we’d pick.

It’s also a good sign for a manufacturer to willingly provide these recalls; not recalling a faulty line of cars these days is a major red flag.

Using a PPSR Report To See If a Used Car Has Been Recalled

If you’re on the market for a used car, there’s a chance the vehicle has been hit with a recall notice before you even think to buy it.

To check if this is the case, you can get a PPSR report from any revs check providers. A PPSR report contains detailed information about a car: its make and model, VIN, engine part number, encumbrance and write-off status, and more. It also includes the recall status, letting you know for example if it’s part of the global Takata airbag recall.

Getting a PPSR report is incredibly easy. Enter the car’s VIN or Rego number into any page on, pay the nominal fee, and you’ll have your report texted and emailed to you in moments.

Car Buying Glossary

There’s a lot of jargon involved when it comes to buying a car, and it can quickly get confusing and overwhelming. Here we’ve broken down some of the most common terms you’ll hear when looking to get a new or used car.

ANCAP Rating

Australian New Car Assessment Program is a safety rating given out of five stars. The more stars, the safer the car is.

Capped Price Servicing

This is a fixed price offered by manufacturers for having regularly scheduled services conducted at a brand’s specific service centres. While manufacturer service centres are often expensive, CPS is offered at a competitive rate covering the first 3-5 years of a new car purchase.

Dealer Incentive

A short-term discount offered by a manufacturer to a dealership to incentivise sales.

Dealer Preparation Fees

A fee of several hundred dollars for preparing a new car for leaving the showroom after sale. Usually checking fluids, tyres, and washing the car.

Documentation/Processing Fee

Another fee in the hundreds of dollars that dealers charge to process sales documents.

Drive Away, No More To Pay

The stated price means almost all your on-road costs are covered. Insurance, ongoing registration, and a dealer delivery fee may need to still be paid, but otherwise all costs are covered.

Direct Financing

A loan organised through a bank or financer.

Dealer Delivery Fee

The cost of getting the car to the dealership and ready for sale.

Demonstrator/Demo Car

This is a car that’s been used by staff for test drives. It’ll have some kilometres on it, and usually a reduced price even for a “new” car.

Extended Warranty

Extends the warranty past the standard length.

On-Road Costs

Stamp duty, registration, CTP, dealer delivery. “Drive away” costs usually mean these are included.

Plate Clearance

Cars which have been sitting on the dealership floor for around a year and thus suffered depreciation despite never having been used are usually discounted to get them on the roads.


When manufacturers end production of a model, they reduce the price of the model to make room for the new model of the car.

Stamp Duty

A government tax you pay every time you purchase a new vehicle.


Using your existing car as part payment towards a new vehicle.

Up-Front Costs

Costs you have to pay when signing the contract.

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