When is a Vehicle Recall Deemed Necessary?
Sometimes the issues with a car’s design or the auto parts that went into making it are not discovered until too late. When a car model has already left the factory floor and is now driving about on the roads, the fear that safety-related defects could result in deaths becomes a genuine concern.
Car accidents are a leading cause of debilitating injuries and fatalities in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires automakers to issue recalls of vehicles that fail to meet safety standards. Over the past half-century, the NHTSA’s laws have led to the recalls of more than 390 million motor vehicles, nearly 50 million tires, and over 60 million car parts, saving untold numbers of people.
A recall is deemed necessary when the vehicle or some part in its make does not meet the safety standards as laid out by the federal government. The motor vehicle’s defects are usually considered ‘safety-related’ if they lead to a recall, meaning that the defect poses a risk to the safety of the vehicle’s occupants and others on the road.
What is the Car Recall Process?
Sometimes the NHTSA orders a recall. In many cases, an automaker will detect the issues themselves and notify the government of their intention to issue a recall.
After notifying the government, the car manufacturers must also notify all registered owners of the vehicle model. In some cases, the manufacturers will also issue a ‘loaner’ vehicle to the car owners while their car goes through the recall process.
The automakers will then work on a plan to correct the defects and supply a timeline to the government. A warning to car owners: it will take longer than anyone would like.
Car owners can search for recall notices through the NHTSA website.
What Defects Commonly Require a Recall?
Safety-related defects which have previously led to recalls include:
- Defective airbags.
- Defective brakes and gas pedals.
- Defective safety belts, buckles, and child booster seats.
- Engine cooling fans that pose a threat to mechanics.
- Fuel and oil leaks which may cause fire or risk explosions.
- Random acceleration problems.
- Seats that break and randomly recline, causing panic and safety concerns.
- Steering column issues causing loss of control while operating the vehicle.
- Wheels that crack, tear, and shred.
- Windshield wipers that malfunction and do not keep drivers safe in the rain.
- Wiring defects that cause fire, electrocution, or loss of power.
What to Do if Your Vehicle Requires a Recall Repair?
According to federal law, car manufacturers must provide the recall remedy to registered car owners free of charge. Usually, an authorized car dealership will handle the repairs and exchanges as part of the recall process.
The recall solution is free, but you do not get to select your favorite remedy. It is up to the automakers to decide on the appropriate remedy for the defective motor vehicle.
They have three solutions to select from:
- Refunds: The manufacturer will refund your car purchase minus depreciation. These types of remedies are not chosen when it’s an auto part that caused the recall.
- Repairs: When an auto part is the cause of the recall, often the manufacturer will order repairs to replace the defective parts.
- Replacements: This solution involves replacing your vehicle or equipment with no fee to the car owners.
Can You Sue a Car Manufacturer for Vehicle Recalls?
You can legally sue car manufacturers for defective vehicles and vehicle recalls. This may be accomplished personally or via a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit may include additional charges, including personal injury claims if the defects led to serious injuries for the car owner or their passengers.
Consult an experienced defective vehicle attorney to discuss your chances of building a successful lawsuit.
Schedule a Free Case Review with an Experienced Vehicle Defect Lawyer Today
If your car has been recalled due to known defects, you should take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your passengers from any safety risks. Additionally, you may be able to pursue financial damages with a lawsuit. Please get in touch with our law firm to speak with attorney Justin Ibrahim for assistance.
Schedule a free consultation today. 626-600-0890.