Do Recalls Expire?

A friend of mine bought a 1999 Mazda Miata and the previous owner did not ever have the return valve on the fuel system fixed when it was recalled. Fueling up the car takes an eternity and often ‘splashes’ back on the fuel-er.

Is there a statute of limitations on when one brings the vehicle in for a recall and do subsequent owners have the same right to bring the vehicle in for an old recall?



Recalls do not expire. The only problem is that the redesigned part may be in short supply if someone waits too long. Hopefully you won’t have that problem.

But, of course, all of this leads to the inevitable question:
If someone such as this car’s original owner is notified by a car manufacturer that they can bring their car to the dealership for a free repair that will make the car more functional–and in some cases, make it safer–why do so many people fail to take advantage of the recall?

She needs to visit a Mazda dealer likely. They typically look up a VIN and see if performed or not already.

Thanks VDC & Andrew. I don’t know why the previous owner didn’t handle it. However, I do know that before using to send me email notices, I relied on my mechanic to let me know if there is a recall…or more likely if I mentioned something was “off” only then would they look into it, finding the official service bulletin. In any event, in the future when I buy other pre-owned vehicles, I will find out any service bulletins or recalls issued and whether the owner handled it.

Thanks again for your help!

Some do, 99% don’t.
Here at my Ford dealer we run all v.i.n.s, Local or out of town customer, even if only here for an oil change.
All unfinished recalls get done.

Visit the dealer and they must perform all recalls that are not time limited.
Even if that’s the only reason you’re there.
Second owner or not.
it’s the law.

A local contractor came to buy a cam position sensor for his 99 F350 7.3 .
I ask him, “did you already have the recall done ?”
"What recall "
“Well you might not even have to pay for this one, let’s go to service and run the vin.”
"But I bought it as a total and fixed it up."
Yep, you got it…free cam sensor !

Make sure it’s a recall and not a TSB. I have a similar issue with my Trailblazer. They subsequently redesigned the filler tube and issued a TSB to replace them under warranty if the customer came in and barked about it. If no longer under warranty, replace on customer’s dime. I learned about the fix through a BBS dedicated to my make/model. My warranty ran out shortly after the fix was announced and I have been living with it since. Mine fills normally but will belch out some fuel if you’re not careful as the tank approaches being full but it’s mainly a nusiance versus safety issue that most recalls are based upon.

If it’s truly a recall, they never expire and the fix should be done for free.