Last year, automakers recalled a record-breaking 53.2 million vehicles
for safety defects. Auto defects are extremely dangerous and should be
fixed as soon as recalls are announced. The following four steps can help
you identify if your vehicle is under recall:
- Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA)
- Find your vehicle identification number (VIN). This may be found on your
car insurance policy card or on the dashboard of the driver’s side
of your vehicle.
- Plug your VIN into the VIN search engine on safercar.gov. The search results
will inform you if your vehicle has not received repairs from a safety
recall within the last 15 years.
- Manufacturers are required by federal law to repair recalled vehicles.
You can receive free repairs at your local dealership. However, you may
need to tow your vehicle to the dealership for repairs. It is also possible
your dealership does not have the parts available to service your vehicle,
so call ahead of time.
The major downside to NHTSA’s website is that can only identify vehicles
currently under recall. Some auto manufacturers may not issue recalls
after learning of defects. General Motors’ (GM) ignition switch
is a prime example.
Are Defective Auto Parts Always Recalled by Manufacturers?
GM’s defective ignition switches have killed 154 people and injured
another 270. The ignition switch could flip into the off position while
people were driving, which would kill power to the engine and airbags.
GM engineers knew of the defect in 2004, but a recall was not issued until 2014.
It is important to hold manufacturers accountable when they neglect their
duty to issue recalls. Victims who have suffered
catastrophic injuries or family members who have lost loved ones from defective auto parts should
consider their legal options. It may be possible for victims or family
members to secure millions of dollars in damages that can pay for lost
income, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
The Washington DC personal injury attorneys at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC
have helped clients secure a $10 million settlement
in a product liability case against an auto manufacturer. Our attorneys
are dedicated to holding negligent businesses accountable for causing