Safety-related automobile recalls happen more often than many consumers realize. In 2014, manufacturers recalled almost 64 million vehicles in 803 separate recalls. Manufactures do make mistakes during the design, assembly, and marketing processes, which easily lead to an unsafe or inherently dangerous vehicle. When automobile manufacturers commit these errors, the consequences can be deadly.
Rules Regarding Automobile Recalls
When a dangerous or defective product comes to the manufacturer’s attention—typically when it causes a car accident or injury—the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires that the company issue a recall. However, many consumers are not informed of the recall campaign or do not understand the implications of the recall. Automobile manufacturers have the choice of voluntarily issuing a recall, or the NHTSA will get a court order to enforce the issuance. The manufacturer must then remedy the problem at no cost to the consumers or the owners of the recalled vehicles.
A recall is necessary when a motor vehicle or vehicle part does not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. These are minimum performance requirements for vehicle parts that affect safe operation, such as the brakes, steering column, tires, and lighting. The Standards also issue requirements for parts related to passenger safety, including seat belts, airbags, and child restraints. A manufacturer must also issue a recall when there is a safety-related product defect in a vehicle or piece of equipment, such as seat belts that do not latch properly or unsafe parking gear.
It is often the consumers who bring an auto defect to the NHTSA’s attention. Consumers can report a safety problem through NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline or through their website. The NHTSA will review your complaint and conduct an investigation if necessary. This includes a screening process of the complaint, an analysis of any petitions that call for a safety review, an investigation of the product, and management of a safety recall campaign. The NHSTA will contact the company regarding the defect and ensure that it issues an effective recall.
What to Do if You Are in a Car Accident Due to an Auto Defect
After a car accident, the first step is to seek emergency medical services for any injuries. The second step is to call an Austin auto defect injury attorney. If you believe that your accident resulted from a vehicle or equipment defect, your attorney will go through the appropriate outlets to investigate the claim and see if a defect was at fault. Your attorney will be able to tell you if other consumers have complained of the same issue or if the NHTSA has any currently open investigations of the manufacturer.
If any manufacturer recalls your car, you have certain rights known as recall remedies. Federal law mandates that the manufacturing company must provide consumers with a remedy for the recall at no cost and within a reasonable timeframe. The manufacturer can choose to either repair or replace the defective part or issue a refund. If you are involved in an accident prior to the company announcing the recall, you may have grounds to sue the company and receive compensation.
Trust Our Competent Austin Auto Recall Attorneys
If you have an issue with your recall remedy, such as you paid for your repair before the manufacturer ordered a recall, you may be entitled to reimbursement. After you have been involved in an accident in a vehicle with a recall, contact the Austin accident lawyers Briggle & Polan, PLLC, for a free consultation. Our experienced Austin auto recall attorneys know your rights as a consumer and as an accident victim and can help you file a claim against the appropriate party.
The manufacturer’s negligence may be responsible for your accident, such as failing to notify the public of a defective part. To find out if you are eligible to receive compensation from the automobile manufacturing company, call (512) 472-1926 today.