In order to provide for the safety and wellbeing of drivers across the country, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regularly initiates recalls for vehicles deemed unsafe for public use. Since 1966, more than 390 million vehicles have been recalled, which has ultimately contributed to safer roads. Today, vehicle recalls continue to take place.
If you believe that your car is affected by a recall, refer to the following to learn how to know if your vehicle has been recalled, what you should do in the event of a vehicle recall, and how to recover compensation if eligible.
How to Find Out if a Vehicle Has Been Recalled
A vehicle will be recalled if it is does not meet safety standards set forth by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or if there is a safety defect within the vehicle (such as ineffective airbags). The NHTSA has provided an online service for individuals to discover information about recalls. At Recalls.gov, consumers can look up recalls of motor vehicles, child safety seats, motor vehicle equipment, tires, and school buses. Additionally, individuals may subscribe to email notifications concerning recalls if they desire.
If you’re curious as to whether or not your vehicle has been recalled, you can search for your specific car at SaferCar.gov. As of August 2014, car companies are required to update the information in this database every 7 days.
What to Do in the Event of a Vehicle Recall
According to an online booklet titled “Motor Vehicle Defects and Safety Recalls: What Every Vehicle Owner Should Know,” published by the NHTSA, the following provides information on what you should do if your vehicle is recalled:
The vehicle manufacturer is required to notify you via mail. The letter will contain information about why the vehicle is being recalled, as well as what you should do to correct the hazard. The correction will be done at no charge to you, and the letter should explain where you should take your vehicle to remedy the defect. Once a recall has been issued, the manufacturer may choose to repair your vehicle, replace your vehicle, or issue a refund on your vehicle.
Recovering Compensation for a Defective Vehicle
Lawsuits concerning vehicle recalls are usually pursued in one of two ways—either class action lawsuits, where a group of people who have been victims of a recall and have faced financial losses pursue a lawsuit together; and personal injury lawsuits, where an individual pursues damages for any injury or wrongful death that was caused by a defective vehicle.
If you have been involved in an accident caused by a defective vehicle or defective vehicle part, and have sustained injuries as a direct result of the accident, then you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of your medical expenses, future financial losses, and pain and suffering.
If you have not been involved in an accident that was caused by an unsafe vehicle part, then you may be able to pursue a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer of your vehicle if you experienced financial losses in the form of getting your vehicle repaired, not being able to use your vehicle, or due to a decreased value of your vehicle post-recall. Some manufacturers that have been involved in recalls and class action lawsuits include Toyota, Chevrolet, Mercedes, and Volkswagen.
Seek Legal Services
If your vehicle has been involved in a recall, you may be entitled to compensation depending upon your circumstances. For more information, the attorneys at Hiden, Rott & Oertle, LLP can help. To get started, call us today at 619-296-5884.