What is the difference between a technical service bulletin and a recall notice? Both are important, but what do they mean for you as a vehicle owner? Here’s a simple breakdown between the two:

Technical Service Bulletins

Once a car has a few years of real-world road use under its belt, there can be a few problems that crop up. These can be things like inoperable power windows, faulty heating systems or defective windshield wipers. They are typically non-safety issues and can be fixed with a few minor repairs from a service technician.

When a manufacturer discovers these minor problems they issue a technical service bulletin (TSB) to the dealership directly. A TSB will include items such as instructions for repairs, required parts or information on new parts available to mechanics.

What do you need to do about a TSB?

Mostly nothing. When a TSB is issued, the dealership will make note of it and when you bring your car in for it’s scheduled maintenance they will make the repair/adjustment at the same time (and often at no cost to you). You can always check with your service department to find out if anything has come through in between maintenance appointments.

Recall notices

Recalls happen all the time, for any number of products — from food to clothing. And despite the gamut of tests a manufacturer will run on their vehicles before putting them on the market, recalls can still happen in the auto industry.

A recall notice is when something needs to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Recall notices can be issued for safety related issues and non-safety related issues. Safety related issues can include airbag defects or faulty seatbelts while non-safety related issues can include paint or radio problems.

What do you need to do about a recall notice?

In Canada, manufacturers are required by law to notify the vehicle owner, which means when a recall notice is issued, you’ll know about it. If you receive a recall notice, it’s strongly recommended that you contact your dealership as soon as possible to have the required work done on your vehicle.

Why should I get these repairs done?

The answer is pretty simple: your safety and peace of mind.

When a manufacturer issues a notice of some kind, missing those repairs can mean a number of things from an unreliable vehicle to cancelling warranties to an accident. And these kinds of repairs don’t cost you a dime, so why not get them done?

If you’re curious about your vehicle, you can check Transport Canada’s recall database for more information, or you can call one our friendly FFUN Motor Group dealerships and they’d be happy to help you out!