Recalls are happening all the time in our day to day lives. Products are found to be defective and harmful to consumers, and are pulled from the shelves so reimbursements can be made. What happens if a vehicle is recalled? How does an auto company handle the recall and make sure that consumers are safe? Now you can find out more about how the process works and what you should do if you are driving a car that is under a recall.
What is a recall and who is in charge of them? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) takes care of vehicle complaints as the recalls come in. If there are enough reports made against a car manufacturer, or if an auto manufacturer wants further exploration into a vehicle, the NHTSA will look into the problem and assess whether or not a recall should be issued. Sometimes, the NHTSA will even force a recall if they deem it necessary.
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What are some common reasons for recalls? Recalls are issued for many different defects. Something known as the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Avt (1966) gives the NHTSA authority to issue safety standards. If those standards are not met on a safety level, then the NHTSA has the right to issue the recall. A safety-related defect refers to anything that poses a risk to motor vehicle safety, or exists in a group of vehicles of the same design or manufacture. Here are some of the most common defects:
- Steering components that break too suddenly
- Accelerator controls breaking or sticking
- Wheels that crack or break
- Wiring system problems resulting in fire
- Car ramps or jacks that collapse too easily
- Air bags that deploy under conditions for which they are not designed to deploy
How will I be notified about a recall? Let’s say that an auto recall is issued for your specific model. Within a reasonable amount of time, you will be contacted by first-class mail about the recall by the manufacturer. This includes all registered owners and purchasers of the affected vehicles and you will be given an evaluation of the risk to motor vehicle safety. If you have become worried that you were not notified about a recall, you should always check the website for NHTSA to find out.
What are the next steps in the process? When you receive your Official Safety Recall Notice, you will be advised on what steps to take. Usually this will involve seeing a dealer as soon as possible. After this, the manufacturer will have 60 days to deal with the issue. The manufacturer has three options to correct the defect: repair, replace, or refund. They will even sometimes pay for a courtesy vehicle for you to use when you do not have your own. According to the Safety Act and Federal regulations, the manufacturer is responsible for providing safe, free, and effective remedies to you, the consumer.
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Of course, there is always a chance that you have suffered injuries due to the defect and want to pursue a lawsuit. If this is the case, you should speak with an attorney about what options you have. There may be time limits known as the statute of limitations so you should act as quickly as possible. Call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today if you have a personal injury case relating to a defective or recalled vehicle. We are there to help you every step of the way.