Car Doctor Q&A: Watch for Recalls With an Expiration Date

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This week, John Paul warns us to be aware of recalls on the car you might be purchasing, and find out whether its expiration date has passed.

Q. I have a Ford Taurus 2000 and the front coil spring fractured and punctured the tire. I called Ford and was told there was no recall on this model. I did a little researched and found a recall was issued for 1999-2000 Ford Taurus models operated in high corrosion areas. I purchased my car in 2004 in California and moved back to Massachusetts 10 years ago. I had my car towed to my mechanic and the spring and new tire was replaced. I have asked Ford if my car was excluded from a recall because it was sold in California, not a high corrosion area. All they will say is that my vehicle was not part of a recall but to hold on to repair receipts just in case. I am concerned that the same thing could happen to the other coil spring while I am driving causing a serious accident. Should this repair have been covered and is my car safe to drive?

2000 Ford TaurusA. Unlike most recalls the one issued for cars like yours had a timeline. Where most recall have no expiration date or time limit the recall on your car was had a deadline of 10 years or 150,000 miles whichever came first. Since your car is 15 years old, it is well past the maximum time. Even though your car is past the expiration of the recall the Ford dealer could have called the Special Service Support Center (SSSC) to request an extension. Regarding the other front spring, having a car with one old spring and one new spring will impact the ride and handling. If you plan on keeping the car I would replace the other front spring for both safety and to improve the cars overall handling

John Paul

John Paul