When Dealers Are Unaware of Recalls, Your Life Could Be in Danger

When Dealers Are Unaware of Recalls, Your Life Could Be in DangerProducts can be recalled for several reasons. When consumers receive a recall notice, they must take their vehicle to the dealership. The dealer will replace the part or make the repair at no additional cost to the consumer. The consumer can then continue to use the car as they had before. The process is simple and primarily painless, although you will have to take some time to visit the dealership.

It has been reported that many recalls are not being adequately issued, leaving drivers and their families in danger. Both the dealership and consumer are never informed. Blame is being shifted back and forth, with some entities blaming the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and others blaming automakers.

A flawed recall system in place misses upwards of 30% of recalls. NHTSA representatives state they do not have recall data and are not to blame for these errors. They instead shift the focus to dealerships that have access to VINs and recall data. Some individuals are saying many used car dealerships have recalled vehicles listed for sale on the lots.

However, numbers suggest that recall completion is 80% across the board. Newer vehicles are at 90%, but the numbers drop for cars over five years old. Outdated contact information is to blame in these instances. When a vehicle changes ownership, dealerships do not always get the new contact information and send recall notifications to the wrong address. In the end, no agency or entity can agree on who is to blame. The one thing they can agree on is that the system is broken.

Sadly, while they argue and shift blame, millions of drivers are in danger. Who do you sue if you are harmed in a car accident caused by a defective auto part? You need to discuss your options with a Huntsville car defect attorney.

How do automotive recalls work?

The premise of an auto recall is to offer repairs for defective parts at no additional charge to the consumer. Auto manufacturers have a duty to ensure all components in their vehicles are in safe working order. If a part is defective, it can cause life-altering consequences to the driver and others on the road. Successful recalls are contingent on two factors:

  • Owners bringing their vehicle to the dealership for repair
  • Automakers’ ability to send out parts to dealerships

Dealerships can achieve a 100% completion rate if these factors are adequately addressed. Many vehicle owners do not take their cars to the dealership because they do not want to face additional issues that the mechanics find. Mechanics and dealerships are legally required to inform customers of any vehicle concerns when they come for routine maintenance. As a consumer, you do not have to fix the issues at the moment, although it is a safety concern that vehicle owners should address at some point.

A vehicle is often deemed safe to drive while awaiting a recall repair, so you do not need to fret if the parts have yet to reach your local dealership. You should take precautions factoring in the type of defect while you await repairs. An accident can still occur, and liability becomes complex once a recall is issued. Several bills are being introduced that would prohibit the sale of used vehicles with open recalls.

There is a lot of pushback from auto manufacturers and dealerships, however. Currently, used cars that are certified pre-owned are the only used vehicles that do not have any open recalls. If you are purchasing a used vehicle that is not certified pre-owned, you may need to do some research before taking the plunge. Even after taking all necessary precautions, don’t wait to contact a car accident attorney if you are involved in an auto accident where a defective product is to blame.

What are the most common types of auto defects?

All motor vehicles have a range of moving parts for the car to operate safely. When even one piece is defective, it interrupts the entire flow of the system. One malfunction leads to tragedy. The most common defects you will see in a motor vehicle include:

Any of the above can cause an injury during an accident. If you are unaware of the defect and the auto manufacturer has done nothing to remedy it, they might be the real culprit after an accident. Do not take the fall for the negligent actions of another party. Call the injury attorneys at Martin & Helms to discuss your case and protect your rights.

Who is liable if your car has a defective part?

Several parties are involved in manufacturing, installing, and selling vehicle parts. That means liability is often complex. These parts are usually found in passenger vehicles, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles on the road. Many lives are in danger when one defective vehicle part makes it to the market. The parties that are liable for defective parts are:

  • Manufacturer
  • Designer
  • Supplier
  • Dealership

One defective part can cause a domino effect of problems. While recalls are in place to remedy this, they are not always issued in time. Accidents and injuries still happen, and you need a Huntsville car accident attorney to determine the liable party and hold them responsible.

When you acquire a new or used vehicle, you expect it to be in working order. You do not expect the dealership to sell you a car that has a known defect. It is also unexpected for a vehicle manufacturer to fail to advise dealerships on product defects or recalls. Several entities are involved in defective auto parts accidents, and you need a car accident attorney with experience handling these cases. We invite you to call Martin & Helms at 256-539-1990, or submit our contact form to schedule a consultation today. We have offices in Huntsville and Decatur, and serve clients in Madison, Athens, and North Alabama.