What Is A Vehicle Recall?
When a vehicle designer, contract manufacturer, or even a shipping company or a dealership makes a mistake and causes a mechanical malfunction of a vehicle, a recall may be issued. Recalls happen two ways. The first is a voluntary recall, which makes up the bulk of the vehicle recalls, is when a manufacturer realizes there is a flaw with the recall and notifies its customers. The second is a recall conducted by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA collects statistics about car accidents across the country. If they discover an unusual amount of accidents or injuries happening with one make or model of vehicle, they will investigate the vehicle. If they find a defect, they will notify the vehicle’s company and coordinate a recall.
What Are My Rights During A Recall?
The law is very clear about recalls. Consumers have the right to be protected from risks caused by defective products. So when a defect is found in a vehicle, it is up to the car company to contact their customers and make things right. In most cases, the company will notify its customers about the recall and will provide instructions on how to remedy the issue. They are required by law to fix the issue for free. Usually, you will have to take your vehicle to the dealership to have it repaired.
What To Do If Your Vehicle Is Recalled
First, it is good to routinely check for recalls on your vehicle on the NHTSA Safer Car Vin Lookup. Usually, your vehicle manufacturer will notify you of the recall. However, sometimes this notice can get lost in the mail or if you recently purchased a used car, may go to the former owner. If your vehicle is being recalled, simply follow the instructions given by the vehicle manufacturer.
Why Are Vehicle Recalls So Important In Personal Injury Law?
After practicing personal injury law for over 30 years, we have learned that car accidents aren’t always cut and dry. What may seem like an accident that resulted from irresponsible driving, may actually have been the result of a defective vehicle. A defective vehicle may also cause the injuries from an accident to be much worse. For example, in the largest recall in history, the Takata airbag recall, when the airbag deployed it actually caused the death of over 20 passengers and not the accident itself. Had the airbag been functioning properly, these passengers could still be alive. In cases like this, it the vehicle manufacturer responsible for the injuries and not either driver.
Vehicle recalls also highlight the importance of hiring a personal injury attorney when you’ve been in an auto accident. A skilled attorney will investigate the real cause of the accident--whether it was a distracted driver or the faulty brake lines on a vehicle. By determining who is truly at fault, your attorney will be able to get full and fair compensation for your injuries. If you’d like to learn more about vehicle recalls, check out our blog. We keep all our readers up to date on the latest vehicle recalls.