Whether you’re renting an automobile or buying a car used, you want to know that your vehicle is safe and fit for your purposes. Unfortunately, many consumers have no idea that their cars’ parts have been previously recalled.
This ignorance can lead to safety hazards and legal challenges, if you’re ever in an accident.
For instance, let’s say you rent a car and get into a major fender bender, because the steering fails at a crucial moment. Perhaps some part related to the steering system had been recalled (or recalled and replaced inadequately) prior to the accident. Unless you investigate and learn about the recall, you might have no idea that a defective product could have been to blame. Likewise, you might never be able to collect compensation from the appropriate person or party for damages that you sustained to your vehicle or yourself.
Here’s the complicated thing, though. Cars are made up from a diverse catalog of products, any one of which can be recalled. The can include brakes, fuel lines, ignition switches, airbags, transmission systems, tires, etc. Recently, for instance, Honda started the process of recalling 6 million vehicles to fix airbag issues. This recall could be on a scale as big as GM’s recent multi-billion dollar ignition switch recall!
In the past, identifying how and when to identify problematic car parts presented a massive logistical problem for concerned consumers. But a new federal government recall site, www.safercar.gov, allows you to get insight immediately into potential problems.
Here’s what you need to do:
1) Write down your vehicle’s VIN number or take a picture of it with your phone. It’s usually located at the bottom of the windshield or on the inside of your door.
2) Enter the VIN number at www.safercar.gov, and you will get information on any recalls.
This process only works for cars made in the last 15 years, but this digital tracking should go a long way towards helping consumers protect themselves and their families.
If you or someone you love got hurt in a car accident, and you believe that a defective auto part might have been to blame, contact the Washington D.C. car accident attorneys here at Regan, Zambri & Long today to schedule a confidential consultation with us.
No matter how safe your vehicle is, if you text while driving it, you’re asking for trouble. Learn more: Texting While Driving – Now a Primary Offense in Virginia