Safety recalls affect most large automakers at some point. In some cases, these recalls relate to defects that could cause serious injury or even death. One prominent example is the recall issued by manufacturers that have used Takata airbags in their vehicles. The airbag inflator defect has been linked to numerous injuries and 20 deaths as of the end of 2017.
The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act authorizes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to establish car safety standards. The NHTSA may require manufacturers to issue recalls in cars with safety defects or those that don’t comply with federal safety standards. Many recalls have been issued voluntarily by car manufacturers. Other recalls are triggered by investigations by NHTSA or are ordered by NHTSA. The protocol upon discovering a defect is that the manufacturer notifies NHTSA, car owners, dealers, and distributors. The automaker must correct the problem free of charge. The NHTSA then oversees the recall process to ensure that the defect is adequately addressed and repaired.
The NHTSA sets forth requirements for manufacturers for issuing recalls. Manufacturers are required to notify all registered owners and purchasers by first-class mail of the defect and describe how it could impact the safety of the vehicle. The letter should inform owners how to remedy the problem and that repairs will be made at no charge. Manufacturers use lists of registered owners to issue these notices, but they may also need to use other means, such as advertisements, to notify affected car owners. There are three options for the manufacturer to fix the defect: repair the car, replace it with an identical vehicle, or refund the purchase price of the car.
But automakers face a big problem when issuing recalls – many car owners do not comply with recall recommendations. In some cases, those affected by the recall may not receive notice or ignore the notice. For many people, repairing the car may not be convenient. Some owners don’t comprehend the danger of using a car with a recalled part. In addition, subsequent owners are often uninformed about the recall because former owners don’t notify the manufacturer that the car has a new owner.
It is very important to comply with recalls in a timely manner. Doing so means that you, your family, and other people on the road will be safer.
If you or a member of your family was injured in an accident related to a defective part, contact Alexander Law Group, LLC. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will be sure you get the maximum compensation possible. Call 888.777.1776, or contact us online.