What is a TSB?
Saturday, November 12th, 2011
One question on TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey asks how the car owner learned there was a problem, and a couple of the options involve TSBs. But what’s a TSB?
A TSB is a “technical service bulletin.” Manufacturers issue these to dealers to describe a common problem and how to repair it. Some people think they’re the same as recalls, but usually they’re not. TSBs are usually only meant for cars that are already having the described problem, while recalls are often preventive–performed to prevent a problem from ever happening. Recalls are always paid for by the manufacturer, at least up to a certain advanced age or odometer reading, while TSBs are usually only covered during the warranty period.
I say “usually” because TSBs vary. Some of them are very close to being recalls in that they are performed as a preventive measure and paid for by the manufacturer after the warranty ends.
One definite difference: you won’t receive a notice in the mail for a TSB.