The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is launching a
pilot program that could help warn Maryland residents when their vehicles have unfixed
recalls. In 2016, there were
927 recalls in the US that covered more than 53 million vehicles. Many recalls remain unfixed.
Some auto defects could cause death of catastrophic injuries, even during
minor collisions. For example, as of June, only 65 percent of the 46 million
vehicles containing Takata airbags had been repaired. Takata airbag inflators
can explode with excessive force, sending shrapnel flying throughout the
vehicle cabins. The defect can even be triggered while repairs are being
performed on a vehicle.
Congress recently gave NHTSA the ability to provide grant funding to six
states for these pilot programs. However, only Maryland took up NHTSA
on the offer. Under the new program, Maryland residents will receive recall
information while registering their vehicles. Maryland will also compile
a listing of all registered vehicles to facilitate this process. Vehicle
owners and lessees will be notified.
The program will also give owners a brief description of why their vehicles
are under recall and how they can remedy the problem. After the program
has operated for two years, Maryland could evaluate its effectiveness.
How Can I Check the Recall Status of My Vehicle?
If you do not reside in Maryland, you can still check the recall status
of your vehicle. You can use
NHTSA.gov to check if your vehicle is under recall. Simply find your vehicle identification
number (VIN) and plug it into the website’s VIN search tool. Generally,
the VIN can be found on your insurance policyholder card or on the driver’s
Search results may pull up any unfixed recalls from the past 15 years.
If your vehicle is under recall, you can receive free repairs from your
dealership. However, you should call the dealership first to ensure they
have the parts on hand to conduct the repairs. In some cases, the parts
may not be available for weeks or months.
If you or a loved one were injured by an
auto defect, then please call the
Washington DC product liability attorneys at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC. We can explain whether you have legal options
to pursue damages against the vehicle manufacturer or other parties.