What is the difference between a recall and a service campaign?



A safety recall and a service campaign are not the same things. How are they different?

The main difference is that when the manufacturer announces a safety recall, the owner is asked by letter to come to the workshop with his car. On the other hand, only those who come to an authorised workshop for a regular service or ask on their own initiative will know about the ongoing service campaign (sometimes called a product update or TSB – Technical Service Bulletin). After entering the vehicle’s VIN code in the system, the technician will be prompted with what actions need to be taken.



While a car manufacturer is obliged by law to announce a safety recall whenever health, safety or the environment is threatened, no one forces it to launch a service campaign. They are usually trying to prevent more damage and complaints by voluntarily replacing problematic parts. Recalls can be found, for example, in the European RAPEX information system or on our website. Service campaigns (or TSBs) are not published anywhere and are only carried out in authorised workshops for those who come here with their car and complain. An independent workshop usually has no chance of finding out about these campaigns.

Therefore, we recommend contacting an authorised service centre at least twice a year and asking about ongoing recalls or service campaigns. You will need the vehicle’s VIN code, a 17-digit unique number found on the vehicle’s registration card and on some areas of the bodywork (the frame on the windshield, for example). You can use our contact page to find your nearest dealer – Verify VIN for recalls.

Whether you’ve been going to an authorised or independent workshop for regular servicing doesn’t matter. Don’t be afraid to ask. Information about ongoing service campaigns must be provided regardless of who has been looking after your car up to now.

If you wish to know more about eventual problems of a specific car (e.g. real mileage, potential traffic accidents damages, odometer rollback, repairs, etc.), then we suggest going to HPI-Check.

Check the vehicle’s history


Where now?



Share on:

What the owner should do?

If you read about a recall that you think may affect your car, you should make immediate contact with a dealer or workshop that’s been officially authorised to perform repairs on behalf of the manufacturer and ask for the details.

If you wish to know more about eventual problems of a specific car (e.g. real mileage, potential traffic accidents damages, odometer rollback, repairs, etc.), then we suggest going to HPI-Check.

Check the vehicle's history


Start a discussion. Share your view: Post a Comment on Twitter

All non-English texts are machine translated. Car-Recalls.eu accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of the translation. In case of discrepancies, the English version will prevail.

Deutsche version | Česky
Based on Weekly overview reports of RAPEX notifications, published free of charge in English on https://ec.europa.eu/rapex, © European Union, 2005 – 2023
The official contact points of the Member and EFTA-EEA States provide the information published in these weekly overviews. Under the terms of Annex II.10 to the General Product Safety Directive (2001/95/EC) responsibility for the information provided lies with the notifying party. The Commission nor the car-recalls.eu does not take any responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided.
The content owned by the EU on this website is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence.