Total Recall: in terms of movies, one of Arnie’s best, but in terms of cars, something of an obsession in the non-motoring media.

To the outside world, a mass recall looks like the end of days for the manufacturer concerned when, in reality, the company is just doing its job, with a bit of proactive PR thrown in. I’m not fazed by recalls and even owned a car that was a decade old when it was recalled (it was a Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk2). I had to take it back to the VW dealer. No drama at all.

However, if you believe the newspapers, it has been a car-recall-maggedon, yet my recall encounter, a lifetime ago, is my only one. I’ve bought loads and loads of cars since, and none has exploded because I didn’t take it back to a main dealer for a ‘fix’. It’s simply because I wasn’t told to.

It has always been enough to go to the VOSA website (now — enter ‘car recalls’ in the search box) and call up the recall history on your car. I give it a cursory glance sometimes but don’t get that stressed by a recall notice.

However, the whole recall thing has been made a tad easier now that the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and Motor Codes have launched a new consumer-facing web portal (go to that enables motorists to check if their vehicle is on a safety recall list. Not only that, but customers will also be directed to their nearest dealer, so that any necessary remedial work can be done.