It’s not uncommon for the owner of a car, truck, motorcycle, or other vehicle to receive a notice of a recall in the mail. Although most notices are for seemingly minor issues, they shouldn’t be ignored, because some small problems left unattended may become a serious matter of safety.
There has been a spike in major recalls in the past few years, but according to JD Power, the number of recalled vehicles that have yet to be brought in is north of 45 million. That’s even after GM fired 15 workers for their role in issuing the automaker’s faulty switches. Deaths occurred because of neglect and incompetence, it was a heavily-covered news item, and people were outraged, yet there are still 45 million unrepaired cars with manufacturer recalls on the streets today.
And it isn’t just GM that’s issued massive recalls. Since 2013, there’s been a tsunami of defects leading to vehicle recalls by other brands as well: more than 51 million in 2015 alone.
Defective Auto Parts Can Lead to Traffic Fatalities
One of the most publicized recalls was over airbags that deployed incorrectly. If that happens while you’re driving, it could cause you to totally lose control of your vehicle, which could lead to serious injuries, if not the death of you and your passengers.
Perhaps this is easier to imagine if you put a face on it. Consider the case of Stephanie Erdman, who testified before the Senate hearing on the Takata airbag recalls. Her 2002 Honda Civic crashed, but the accident resulted in only moderate impact. Her airbag deployed, but it sent shards of metal into her face, where it punctured her sinus right next to her eye. Luckily, she survived, but drivers in other faulty airbag accidents did not.
So, What Can You Do?
If you get a recall notice, experts advise reading it over carefully. They come via regular mail, so it’s important to make sure manufacturers have your correct address. If you’re not the original buyer of the vehicle, go to safercar.gov to find out if there are recalls for your make and model. Just be sure to have your VIN handy.
It may help to know that when you go to the dealer for a recall fix, the manufacturer isn’t going to charge you.
Finally, be proactive. If you think there’s something wrong with your car that’s not due to normal wear and tear, report it to the customer service department of the automaker. Consumer complaints really do get noticed.
Remember that if you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a vehicle defect, the product liability attorneys at Harrell & Harrell, P.A., are here to help. Contact us for a free consultation on the strength of your case by calling 904-251-1111 or 800-251-1111 today.