Thursday, September 24, 2020
News Are Recall Repairs Part Of An Essential Service?

Are Recall Repairs Part Of An Essential Service?

FCA’s safety recall makes us wonder if recalls will be addressed while on lockdown.

  • FCA Canada has just recalled 47,000 vehicles because of a potential distraction.

  • This issue stems from the rearview camera’s image may remain onscreen for more than 10 seconds.

  • Recall raises questions about essential repairs on our cars and SUVs.


Although a safety defect, the recall from FCA isn’t dangerous per se. The issue is simply that the image captured by the rearview camera may be displayed on the screen on the dashboard longer than the regulated maximum of 10 seconds once the vehicle is shifted into Drive or out of reverse in a manual car. Basically, it’s not an emergency.

The 46,772 2019 and 2020 model year FCA vehicle owners will be notified by mail and will be instructed to bring their vehicles to a certified dealer for a radio software update. You can check on Transport Canada’s website to read more about the recall and see if your vehicle is affected by entering your Vehicle Identification Number or VIN.

As we all know, the country is on lockdown save for essential services. Of the few grey-zones that exist as far as who’s open and which businesses need to be closed, dealerships and garages are on the proverbial fence. The questions are: What if an important recall needs to be performed on my car? Can I get it done?

The list of essential services includes “Service stations and mechanical repair of motor vehicles, trucks and specialized equipment for industries considered essential.” This, in other words, means that your personal mode of transportation is not deemed essential and thus cannot be repaired until the service center at your authorized dealership has reopened.

There is a grey-zone and it surfaces when important repairs need to be done. From the brief research we’ve done online, major or important repairs can be done. These “authorized” fixes are the type that means the difference between being able to use or not your vehicle. As such, tire rotations/changes and regular maintenance do not fall under these exceptions. A flat tire, however, could be considered important as it impedes your ability to drive.

The bottom line is that every shop that chooses to remain open for business during the country-wide lockdown has the final word on what jobs it wants to take on. This applies to recalls like the one mentioned above as it does not pose an immediate risk to users.

We must all remember that this is an unprecedented situation and a time when using our best judgment can make a huge difference.

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Matt St-Pierre
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

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