Many of us own a car or truck that has been recalled at one time or another. Safety recalls are issued when a vehicle manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines that there is an unreasonable safety risk or doesn’t meet the minimum safety standards for that vehicle. The manufacturer is required to fix the issue by repairing, replacing, or offering a refund. In rare cases, the manufacturer may even repurchase the vehicle from you. The goal of these recalls is to fix the defect, making the vehicle safe to be driven on the road.
However, many individuals find themselves being less inclined to run their vehicle in for a recall repair. The reasons may vary, but it can be a source of an increasing number of safety issues. In Long Beach, CA, those unrepaired vehicles can also be a potential contributor to car accidents. Since automotive recalls have continued to rise, that means the number of vehicles without these recall repairs having been done is also on the rise. Federal statistics estimate that approximately 30% of these recalls are not being repaired.
This poses the issue of how many vehicles on the road have a serious safety issue that hasn’t been addressed. If these vehicles fail while on the road, what kind of damage could they do themselves and the others driving on the road? In Long Beach, CA, car accident lawyers deal with the results of these safety issues on a daily basis.
If you have recently received a recall notice for your vehicle, then it is important to get it taken care of right away. Here are a few of the reasons why people ignore these recalls and why it is important to address them. Additionally, here are a few things to keep in mind if you are in a car accident with a vehicle that was recalled.
1. It takes forever to get my vehicle repaired.
The truth is that many individuals complain about the recall process. They may hear that a particular recall is related to a legitimate safety concern, only to be told that they can drive their vehicle while waiting for the repair. That wait can last months or even years, as dealerships schedule you in for a recall repair. Communication from the manufacturer and what is reported in the news can also be conflicting, making it challenging to know if your vehicle needs a repair or not. Despite the long wait and potential conflicts of information, check with the dealership and get on the waiting list for your repair to be done, if your vehicle is on the list.
2. The dealership tries to sell me something or charge me for additional services I didn’t authorize.
When you drop your vehicle off for a recall repair, that repair should cost you nothing out of pocket. The automaker is covering the cost of that repair and a rental or replacement vehicle if the repair is going to take longer than a day. If the dealership tells you about other potential issues with your car, remember that their job is to try to drum up business. Be firm about what you authorize and do not allow them to charge you for the recall repair.
3. Not fixing it could increase your liability if you are involved in a car accident.
If you are in a car accident, your potential liability could increase if you ignored the safety recall on your vehicle and that is seen as a potential cause or contributing factor to the accident. A Long Beach car accident lawyer can help you determine what your potential liability could be. On the other hand, working with a Long Beach car accident lawyer can assist you in determining if the person who caused your accident may have liability due to unrepaired safety recalls.
4. If you do not make the recall repairs, it can be challenging to sell your vehicle.
If you decide to sell your vehicle in the future, it is important that you have taken care of all the vehicle recalls. The reason is that the automakers have a difficult time tracking down owners, so if they have connected with you and you still own the vehicle, then you should make sure the repairs are done so you do not pass the problems or safety issues to the next owner. Again, you may be risking potential liability if you knowingly did not have the recall repairs completed.
Clearly, there are important reasons to make sure that your vehicle is up to date regarding any potential recalls. You may receive a letter with information about the recall and how to get your vehicle repaired. If you do not receive a letter but think a recall might apply to your vehicle, then check with the NHTSA’s website.
If you have been in a car accident in Long Beach, a car accident lawyer can help you to determine the next steps regarding how to handle your accident and what to do if you think a safety issue within the vehicle may have been a contributing factor in the accident. Contact us today for a free consultation to determine what your options are.
Gabriel and Associates is a full-service law office based in Long Beach, California for over 30 years. Areas of practice include personal injury, workers’ compensation, slip and fall, defective products, medical malpractice, bankruptcy, and other business matters.