Fleet operators and vehicle retailers are being reminded to check their vehicles’ recall work is up to date or face hefty fines and potential imprisonment.

Safety recalls are issued by vehicle manufacturers when they find an issue that needs to be rectified by an authorised repairer, such as a dealership. All recall work must be carried out free of charge for customers and is fixed as a matter of urgency. However, recall notices also have no time restrictions, which means as many vehicles as possible can have the work completed.

If a company, such as a fleet operator, ignores a vehicle recall notice, the car’s insurance could be voided, while those who sell vehicles to consumers, could be prosecuted for failing to carry out necessary recall work.

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According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, such an oversight could cost a business or individual up to £20,000 and/or up to three months imprisonment.

In a bid to help businesses stay compliant, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has teamed up with the SMMT to launch an online recall checking service specifically for large fleets.

The system allows companies with fleets of up to 100,000 vehicles to check all their vehicles in one batch, and receive results within one hour.

Mike Hawes, the SMMT’s chief executive, said: ‘The UK vehicle recall process is one of the most robust in the world, and manufacturers are committed to ensuring vehicles remain safe throughout their lifecycles, constantly striving to make the process even better.

‘Our vehicle safety recall tool has already given peace of mind to millions of consumers and now it is supporting businesses, helping to keep fleets and retailers compliant, and vehicles safe on the road by enabling entire fleets to be checked quickly and regularly.’