Car recalls are a common occurrence in the auto industry, and they can be caused by a wide range of issues, from faulty airbags to defective brakes. If you receive a recall notice for your vehicle, it’s important to take immediate action to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights.
What is a car recall?
A car recall is an action taken by a manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to address a safety-related defect in a vehicle. Recalls are issued when a defect or potential defect poses a risk to the safety of vehicle occupants or other road users. The manufacturer or the NHTSA will notify vehicle owners and instruct them to bring their vehicles to a dealership or repair center to have the defect fixed at no cost to the owner.
One example of a car recall is the Takata airbag recall which affected millions of vehicles across multiple manufacturers. The recall was issued due to a defect in the airbag inflators that could cause the inflator to rupture and spray metal shrapnel into the vehicle, posing a serious risk of injury or death to occupants. The recall affected vehicles from Honda, Toyota, Ford, BMW, and other manufacturers, and required the replacement of the defective airbag inflators.
What if my car is recalled?
Check the Recall Notice:
The first step is to carefully review the recall notice that you receive. A recall notice is an important document that is sent by a vehicle manufacturer or the NHTSA to inform vehicle owners of a safety-related defect in their vehicle. The notice serves as a formal communication to notify owners of the issue and provide instructions on what actions they need to take to address the problem.
The recall notice typically contains information about the defect, including how it can impact the safety of vehicle occupants or other road users. This information can include details about the potential consequences of the defect, such as the risk of injury or death in the event of an accident or other incidents.
The notice will also provide instructions on how to get the defect repaired, including where to take the vehicle and what steps to follow to schedule an appointment with a dealer or authorized repair center. In most cases, the manufacturer will cover the cost of the repair, so owners should not have to pay anything out of pocket.
It’s important for vehicle owners to take recall notices seriously and follow the instructions provided to address any safety-related issues with their vehicles. Failure to do so can put the driver and passengers, as well as other road users, at risk of injury or death. If you receive a recall notice for your vehicle, it’s important to take prompt action to have the defect repaired as soon as possible to ensure your safety on the road.
Contact Your Dealer
Contacting your dealer or authorized repair center after receiving a recall notice is important because they are the best equipped to perform the necessary repairs to address the safety-related issue in your vehicle. Dealerships and authorized repair centers have access to the most up-to-date information about the recall and are trained to perform the repairs in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.
In addition, taking your vehicle to the dealership or authorized repair center can help ensure that the repairs are done correctly and that the safety-related issue is fully addressed. If you attempt to make the repairs yourself or take the vehicle to an unqualified repair shop, you run the risk of not properly addressing the safety-related issue, which could put you and other road users at risk.
Finally, by contacting your dealer or authorized repair center, you can ensure that the repair is completed at no cost to you. In most cases, the manufacturer will cover the cost of the repair, so there is no need for vehicle owners to pay out of pocket.
Following up with the dealer or manufacturer after a repair on a recall is important to ensure that the repair was completed correctly and that the safety issue has been fully addressed. It’s possible that the repair may not have been done correctly, or that there may have been additional issues that were not discovered during the initial repair.
By following up, you can ensure that the repair has been completed properly and that the safety issue has been fully addressed. This is particularly important if the safety issue could potentially cause harm to you or other road users if it is not fully addressed.
In addition, following up with the dealer or manufacturer can help ensure that you are aware of any additional information or instructions related to the recall. In some cases, the manufacturer may issue updated instructions or provide additional information about the recall that was not included in the initial notice.
Finally, following up with the dealer or manufacturer can also help ensure that you receive any compensation or reimbursement that you are entitled to as a result of the recall. This may include any expenses you incurred as a result of the recall, such as rental car fees or towing costs.
Consider Legal Action
While most recall cases can be resolved through a simple repair or replacement of the affected parts, there are situations where legal action may be necessary. Here are some reasons why you may want to consider legal action after a car recall:
- If you were injured or suffered damages as a result of the defective part: If you or a loved one suffered injuries or damages due to a defective part that was subject to a recall, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. In such cases, it may be necessary to pursue legal action to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
- If the manufacturer fails to address the recall in a timely manner: If the manufacturer fails to address the recall in a timely manner, it could put you and other road users at risk. In such cases, you may want to consider legal action to compel the manufacturer to take the necessary steps to address the recall as quickly as possible.
- If the manufacturer knowingly covered up the defect: If the manufacturer knowingly covered up the defect and failed to disclose it to the public or regulatory agencies, they may be held liable for any damages that resulted from the defect. In such cases, legal action may be necessary to hold the manufacturer accountable for their actions.
- If the manufacturer failed to notify you of the recall: If the manufacturer failed to notify you of the recall or if the notice was delayed, you may have missed the opportunity to have the defect addressed in a timely manner. In such cases, legal action may be necessary to ensure that you receive compensation for any damages that resulted from the delay.
While most recalls can be resolved through a simple repair or replacement of the affected parts, there are situations where legal action may be necessary to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve and that the manufacturer is held accountable for your actions. If you have been injured as a result of a defective car, it’s important to take immediate action to protect your rights. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation today.
Note: This page was written with the assistance of artificial intelligence software, but was reviewed for accuracy and approved by attorney Steven Miller, Esq.