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NHTSA Urges Drivers to Proactively Check for Vehicle Recalls

Sep 23, 2016 - Car Accidents, Tuscaloosa by

In 2015, about 51 million vehicles were affected by recalls. Yet, 25 percent of those vehicles are left unrepaired. This is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) started 2016 off with the Safe Cars Save Lives campaign, which urges vehicle owners to check for vehicle recalls even when they have received no recall notice.

Each Tuscaloosa auto injury lawyer at our firm has seen too many cases of accidents that might have been avoided by simple auto repairs. It takes only a small amount of effort for motorists to find out if their vehicles are safe.

Every Driver Should be Aware of Vehicle Safety Defects

Many drivers have experienced the frustration of a car that stalls out in traffic. The frustration increases when the drivers learn that an active recall exists. If notified, they might have avoided an inconvenient situation. This is an example of a recall that is not specifically safety-related. However, some recalls pertain to defects that pose imminent danger, such as might be the case in situations such as the following:

  • Airbags that inflate prematurely or with too much force, as is the case in the nation’s largest product recall
  • Defective wheels that can cause drivers to lose control
  • Wiring system defects that can cause fires
  • Faulty accelerator or braking controls

The chances are that individuals who purchase their cars new from a dealership will receive timely notification of serious defects such as these. However, vital notices can get lost in the mail, particularly when vehicle owners move from their original addresses.

The NHTSA maintains a database of individual vehicles that are subject to recalls, including whether or not the repairs have been completed for any given recall. It takes little effort to obtain the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) from the driver’s side of a car dashboard and then use the NHTSA Recalls Look-up by VIN tool to learn about any outstanding recalls that need to be addressed.

Legal Action May be Possible Even When Non-Recalled Defective Vehicles Cause Accidents

No law states that liability for accidents caused by defects exists only when a vehicle is subject to recall. Errors might occur during the manufacture of one vehicle out of a thousand non-defective ones. Additionally, one individual has to be the very first person to discover a defect that might later affect millions of vehicle owners.

The best way to reduce the risk of injury, however, is to take all action needed to learn about all known defects before they cause accidents. In the event that these actions do not prevent a defect-related accident, it makes sense to discuss all available legal options with an experienced attorney.

Additional Resources:

Safe Cars Save Lives – Check for Recalls, NHTSA

Other Blog Topics

Recalled Vehicles and Defective Equipment Highlight Accident Risks. Birmingham Dangerous Products/Liability blog

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