Car safety recalls are very common throughout the United States and have affected all of us in some way or another. As many as 60 million cars were recalled in 2014 (in the US), out of which only 25 million were repaired, according to a leading newspaper (LA times). American and international carmakers have recalled cars for safety-related defects, which means that car owners, buyers, sellers, renters and drivers are and can be affected by this occurrence.
What is a recall and when is it needed?
A safety recall is a notification by the vehicle manufacturer about a faulty part that, if not fixed, poses a safety threat to you and/or the passengers in your car.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, car recalls are needed if:
- A safety related problem is discovered in a car through systematic number of incidences reported to the manufacturer or to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for a particular type or model of a car.
- Or if the vehicle or a vehicle component/part (including tires) does not meet the safety standards set by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
In the past, safety recalls have been issued for the following defects:
- Defected air bags
- Faulty wiring or fuel leakage that can lead to fire or an explosion
- Flawed ignition switches
- Defected tires
- Defected brakes and acceleration pedal
Manufacturers are required by the law to notify owners/dealers of recalled vehicles and fix the vehicles at no cost to the customer. However, the period between being notified about the defect and the car actually being called in for repairs can be quite long due to unavailability of parts, labor or other resources needed, which can lead to negligence and accidents.
How can you be affected?
1 in every 5 cars on the road in Texas has an unaddressed safety recall. Unfortunately, safety recalls are optional in the country. This makes them dangerous as some people might either ignore the recall because the vehicle seems to be operating perfectly or they might put it off to a later date when they have time to take the car to the manufacturer. Moreover, this can mean that there could be car sellers, dealers and renters who are either selling or renting unsafe cars. Nationwide, several cases involving fatal accidents due to negligence of safety recalls by dealers and rentals have been reported. One of the reasons for this is that there is no law that requires a seller to inform the buyer about an unaddressed recall or fix the recall on a previously owned car before selling it.
Federal and state laws protect you from being a target of such a sale or rental. If you think that you have been sold or rented a vehicle (or any of its parts) that is unsafe, you can check if it is due for a safety recall by visiting www.safercar.gov and entering your car’s VIN number. You can contact Rad Law Firm to talk to a car recall attorney in Dallas if you think you have been sold a defective vehicle.
If you were in an accident caused by a substandard vehicle, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the damages caused to you and your vehicle. Rad Law Firm offers expert legal counsel in such cases and can provide you with some of the best car recall attorneys in Dallas.