This statistic is alarming — but in 2017, 63 million recalled vehicles were in use across the country. (Could your car be one of them? Click below to check NHTSA’s database and find out.)
My law firm has worked on cases where people have been injured by defective and recalled automobiles.
Even more alarming, family-oriented types like Minivans and SUVs are more likely to have open recalls on the road. In any given year, only about 75 percent of recalled vehicles actually get fixed, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which administers recalls. Are people too busy to bring their cars in for recall maintenance? Have they been properly informed? Owners of the remaining 25 percent are either unaware of the recalls or, as one recent study suggests, ignore them because fixing the problem would be an inconvenience.
According to the National Safety Commission (NSC), heeding recalls is crucial to minimizing accidents on U.S. streets and highways. “Drivers may not realize how serious safety recalls really are,” said Maureen Vogel, a spokesperson for the NSC. “But manufacturers don’t issue recalls unless the defect poses a real risk. Even if the problem seems small, it is important to fix recalls when they occur.”
What a Recall Means
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards maintained by NHTSA include performance requirements for all vehicles made in or imported to the U.S. and driven on public roads. These requirements monitor vehicle parts that are critical to safe operation (like brakes, steering and lighting) as well as parts that protect passengers in the event of a crash (like air bags and safety belts).
When a safety-related defect that will prevent a vehicle from meeting these federal standards is identified, a recall is issued. Vehicle manufacturers usually discover such defects, but occasionally they’re identified when many individual car owners report the same problem, prompting NHTSA to open an investigation.
Once a recall has been determined, the vehicle manufacturer is legally required to inform car owners about it (typically by mail). The manufacturer must also inform owners of how to get the problem corrected and must provide repairs—at no cost.
Stay Informed, Stay Safe
How do you know if your car has a recall notice? Keep your registration up to date. Go thru your mail thoroughly. In addition to the mailing you should receive, NHTSA keeps a comprehensive, current database of safety-related recalls. A quick online search using your car’s VIN number will let you see all related open recalls, as well as information about repairs. You’ll also have the option of getting future recall alerts by e-mail.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in your vehicle – or by your vehicle – make sure you call a lawyer ASAP. Timing is crucial. Do not let anyone destroy your car or take title to it. Feel free to contact my law firm for a FREE initial consultation on your auto accident injury claim. OFFICE: 281-929-0110. TEXT/CELL: 832-797-7600