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Understanding Automotive Safety Recalls

When you drive a motor vehicle, you trust it to get you from point A to point B without incident. Like most people, you probably assume that car accidents occur when someone fails to adhere to the rules of the road. While this is true in many cases, sometimes auto defects lead to serious accidents and/or injuries. In severe cases, auto defects can be fatal.

The Recall Process

To keep consumers safe, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) keeps track of all safety complaints associated with vehicles and their composite parts. If you experience a problem with your car or truck, your first step is reporting the issue to the NHTSA.

Once the NHTSA receives your complaint, it will launch an investigation. If the Administration receives several complaints about your vehicle, it might ask the manufacturer to issue a voluntary recall. If the manufacturer fails to comply, the NHTSA will make the recall mandatory. Once a recall is issued, your car or truck manufacturer will be required to fix the defect in question, free of charge.

If you were injured or bereaved by an auto defect, the manufacturer may also be liable for any damages you sustained. To claim this compensation, you will need to hire a personal injury lawyer and file a product liability claim.

What If My Vehicle Is Under Recall?

You should keep track of automotive recalls by signing up for email alerts. You can also check for vehicle recalls using your vehicle identification number (VIN), located on the lower left of your car’s windshield or your vehicle registration.

The NHTSA search tool will show you all vehicle safety recalls from major manufacturers in the past 15 calendar years. If you haven’t already, you should also receive a notification from your car’s manufacturer. In either case, you will need to get in touch with your dealer for repairs.

With some recalls, you can drive your car until you are able to schedule a repair. Others will require you to stop using your car until the issue is fixed. To avoid serious injuries, adhere to advice from the NHTSA and manufacturers.

Recent Recalls

For the Takata airbag recall, for example, you will need to stop driving your vehicle if it is equipped with an “Alpha” airbag. This type of airbag can explode if deployed, causing serious injury or death.

Although the Takata airbag recall is the most pressing at the moment, other vehicles are having problems with windshield wipers and backup cameras.

Once again, the best way to prevent accidents and/or injuries is to check your VIN for vehicle recalls and have issues repaired as soon as possible.

Legal Help

If you are injured, seek medical attention, report the defect to the NHTSA, and contact Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC today.

For legal help after a car accident, call us now at (843) 968-0886 or schedule your free consultation online.