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What You Should Know About Automotive Recalls

You may have noticed that there have been quite a few auto recalls in recent years. GM has recalled 1.6 million vehicles worldwide over issues with a faulty ignition switch, and Toyota recently settled a federal probe to the tune of $1.8 billion over complaints related to unintended acceleration in popular models. Volkswagen may also have a sizable recall on their hands following the massive emissions test cheating scandal, affecting as many as 11 million vehicles worldwide.

Here’s what you need to know about automotive recalls:

What is a recall?

If a vehicle is determined to contain a dangerous defect, the carmaker or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will attempt to contact every owner of the vehicle to request that they bring the vehicle to a dealership for a free inspection and remedy.

Why are cars recalled?

Cars must abide by U.S. safety regulations. A recall is only issued when a car is found to be in violation of these regulations. This can be anything from defective tires prone to blowouts, seatbelt issues, or airbags that fail to deploy when they should. While smaller problems can be annoying, like a radio that has a tendency to only receive static, they are not likely to merit a recall. If you discover a potentially dangerous problem with your vehicle, report it to the manufacturer and/or the NHTSA immediately.

Who can recall a car?

There are two types of recalls. The first type comes voluntarily from the manufacturer, and usually occurs when they independently discover an error in the quality control process. The second type of recall occurs when the NHTSA gets involved to investigate a reported issue. If the agency demands a recall, the manufacturer must comply. NHTSA complaints can be made online here.

How do you know if your car has been recalled?

You should receive notice of a recall via regular mail and/or email providing details of the defect, potential warning signs, information on how the manufacturer plans to remedy the problem, and instructions on what to do next. You can also search for vehicle recalls by VIN number on the NHTSA website.

Defective vehicles put drivers at serious risk. If you have been injured in a car accident that you suspect was caused by a vehicle malfunction, please contact Goodman Acker P.C. to speak with a Detroit car accident lawyer. Our firm has more than 75 years of experience handling car accident cases and knows what it takes to properly investigate them in pursuit of maximum compensation. Click here to fill out an online consultation request, or call our office at (248) 793-2010.