More and more companies over these past few years seem to be falling under the radar when it comes to recalls. You can take GM, for example, who has only issued one recall for their Volt vehicle, which was found to have a faulty brake valve. This has been an ongoing issue since 2010, which is six years ago now and not much else has been done to fix the matters. Volts have the likelihood of catching fire after a crash and yet no action has been taken to address this very problem! Because GM claims that there was no clear evidence that this was a safety defect, they have taken no care to address the issues. The unfortunate fact is that many companies want to fall under the radar solely because they do not want to pay the repair costs for consumers.
If more regulators took control, more warranted recalls would take place. Not only has GM been investigated vigorously, Toyota has faced a $1.2 billion penalty for not keeping up to date with a recall with their acceleration. Toyota faced criminal charges for the matter and many other companies have gone through the same over the past few years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 390 million cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles have been recalled since 1966 – these numbers speak wonders for what has been done and what hasn’t been done.
Pete Costello Case
In April 2012, a man named Pete Costello arrived to the parking garage at his job to find his 2001 Buick Regal GS in flames! He had purchased his car from a private party in 2010 and was not told that the car had been recalled but no repairs were made. By the time he arrived, the fire department had the fire under control but the engine cover was melted and the engine was fully destroyed. Costello as well as many other people have experienced the same thing: Cars in the used car market as well as from other sources are not being checked for recalls and fixes are not being made. This could be a potentially dangerous problem, possibly even leading to fatalities in worst-case scenarios. It is actually estimated that only about 70% of vehicles that are recalled get necessary repairs.
Recalls and the Typical Process
When a recall occurs, the manufacturer typically initiates it or it is ordered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The manufacturer files a public report describing the defect, the major events that took place up until the recall, and a description of the remedy. At the same time, these manufacturers are obligated to notify owners of recalled products as best as they can. When the recall remedy is initiated, owners will be told when the remedy will be available and how long the repair will take place as well as a description of what the owner can do if they are unable to have the problem corrected within a reasonable amount of time.
Has your vehicle been affected by a recall but you were not alerted to the problem? Was this due to the negligence of another person or entity? You may have a case if you were injured in a related accident. Find out more by calling an attorney you can trust at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi.