RECALL, BULLETIN, ADVISORY: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Recall, Bulletin, Advisory

Apr 9, 2019

Recalls, bulletins and advisories often offer fixes for no charge.

BoatUS deciphers what these vastly different terms mean for boat owners.

 

Safety recall, service bulletin, product correction bulletin, service advisory: What do these terms mean to you? Some use the force of law to require manufacturers to repair defects. Some are manufacturers’ goodwill offers for free repairs, and the others are simply internal notifications that may not be much more than an “FYI.” Here’s what each means to recreational boaters.

Safety Recall” and “Volunteer Safety Recall”: Issued by the U.S. Coast Guard and often with a manufacturer’s cooperation, a “safety recall” involves a safety problem that relates to a boat or associated equipment that is less than 10 years old. The recall must pertain to a violation of federal safety regulations or “a defect that creates a substantial risk of personal injury to the public.”

An official recall notification can also be issued under a “service bulletin” heading, but will also be called a “safety recall” on the document. Regardless, if it says “recall,” it’s part of the Coast Guard program and manufacturers have to fix it at no charge, even if the boat’s defect isn’t discovered until many years after the recall is issued. A manufacturer can also issue a “volunteer safety recall” on its own, even after the first 10 years, and it still has the same weight as any other Coast Guard “safety recall.”

If a manufacturer goes out of business before the recall can be addressed, you are out of luck. If a new company buys the old business, however, it may be responsible for the repairs or it may repair the defect simply as a goodwill gesture.

Product Correction Bulletin” vs “Service Advisory” vs “Service Bulletin”: With issues that don’t pose an imminent threat to life and limb but can be dangerous, a manufacturer may issue a “product correction bulletin.” Repairs are generally at no cost to the boat owner. A “service advisory,” like the “product correction bulletin,” is a notice to a boat or engine owner that a Product Improvement Program (PIP) may be available that allows a dealer to be reimbursed by the manufacturer for a number of hours of labor, much like a warranty reimbursement, even if the product is out of warranty. This, too, is generally at no cost to the boat owner.

 

A common reason manufacturers issue “service bulletins” is for a product improvement or software updates. The costs of these types of repairs are often borne by the boater, but sometimes manufacturers help dealers so repairs can be done at little or no cost to the owner unless past the official “close date.” Even then, some manufacturers have been known to extend close dates as a goodwill measure.

 

Some “service bulletins” are directed to boat dealers for the purpose of helping manufacturers troubleshoot a problem that may or may not be covered by warranty. Other “service bulletins” may be guides for both dealers and boat owners detailing proactive measures to prevent problems. Regardless, if it is a “service bulletin,” “product correction bulletin” or “marine service advisory” and the repair is free, associated costs such as haulouts or travel aren’t typically covered. If labor costs exceed the hours the manufacturer is reimbursing the dealer, those costs may also be passed on to the owner.

How to check your boat for recalls: Manufacturers are required to contact the original owners of boats or products to advise of a recall, so new boat owners should always register the warranty so they may be contacted. Once a boat is resold, it becomes more challenging for manufacturers to remain in contact with subsequent owners. Regardless of the boat’s age or which owner you are (second, third …), contact the manufacturer and let it know you’re now the owner.

 

The easiest way to find out if there is or was a recall for your boat, engine, or accessory is to visit the U.S. Coast Guard’s recall website at uscgboating.org/content/recalls.php. If your boat is on the list, contact the manufacturer, which can check records to see if the repair has been done. If not, it can direct you to a dealer that can do the repair. Again, some expenses such as haulouts are usually not included.

In addition, BoatUS Consumer Protection offers BoatUS members free access to the BoatUS Complaint Database, the only national database devoted solely to problems involving recreational boats, marine engines, and related products and services.

To join, go to https://www.boatus.com/membership/.

Related Posts





See Taiga’s Orca Performance electric watercraft in action at the Toronto Boat Show

CMRA

Taiga Motors, the Canadian leader in the electrification of powersports, will showcase its latest personal watercraft at the Toronto International Boat Show January 19-28, 2024 at booth 136, Heritage Court.

If you’d like more information about Taiga and would like to see the Orca Performance, a 100% electric personal watercraft in action at the Toronto International Boat Show’s indoor lake, Taiga Experts will be available for interviews and demos.

Read More




Need to Catch up on News This Week?

Every Tuesday we publish a fresh Digest with informative articles pertaining to the Canadian boating and marine industry. Stay up to date with the latest products, research and industry developments.

Missed an Issue of Boating Industry Canada News Week? If you’re looking for a specific issue, or simply want to catch up on previous issues, check out our Boating Industry Canada News Week Archives.

Not signed up for News Week? Subscribe here.



Boston Whaler launches the 210 Vantage

Boston Whaler just introduced the newest model in the Vantage lineup – the 210 Vantage, an all-new, keel-up dual console model designed with premium features core to the Boston Whaler brand, as well as intuitive technology to attract the next generation of boaters.

“Building on the success of the Vantage series, we’re thrilled to officially introduce the all-new 210 Vantage into the marketplace and offer consumers a truly differentiated experience,” said Dennis Tilden, Senior Director of Sales & Customer Service. “The 210 Vantage embodies the core values that define Boston Whaler’s legacy – quality, innovation, unsinkability, reliability and simplicity – and was designed to cater to young families and empty nesters with its manageable size, thoughtful design, weather protection and spacious seating. We’re confident that our newest model will be well-received in the market and set the standard for its category.​”

Read More


JL Audio unveils MediaMaster® Wireless Remote with Zone Control for Marine Audio Systems

Hubbell-Marine Stainless steel outlet covers
Hubbell-Marine Stainless steel outlet covers

Keep it cradled, or take it with you to conveniently control your JL Audio marine source unit and audiozones from anywhere on deck.

JL Audio, a Garmin brand and manufacturer of high-performance marine audio systems, announced the addition of the MMR-25W wireless remote controller to its growing portfolio of MediaMaster® source unit control solutions. Equipped with Bluetooth® Low Energy technology, this compact, handheld controller connects directly to the latest MediaMaster® source units, including the MM105 and MM105-HR, and allows for robust, multi-zone system control from anywhere on deck.

Read More