Spring forward was this Sunday. While most of us are not crazy about the time change and need a few days to adjust our body clocks, it does serve as a good reminder to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors. And now, vehicle manufacturers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration want to use the time change to remind you to do one other safety check, and we love the idea.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched its first-ever Safety Recall Week. The initiative is designed to encourage car and truck owners to check for open recalls on their vehicle twice a year — with the changing of the time. Here are some important facts you may not know about vehicle recalls and why they are so important:
- The NHTSA has the power to force manufacturers to recall vehicles that the agency has determined possess a safety defect. The NHTSA uses accidents and customer complaints to help identify potential problems in a particular vehicle. When a threshold is met, the government will then open a defect investigation to determine if a recall is warranted. Sometimes, a manufacturer will look at the same data and voluntarily recall the vehicle for repairs, and other times the federal government via the NHTSA will mandate a recall.
- If the NHTSA orders a manufacturer to recall a vehicle, it is for a safety issue. So if you get a recall, you should have it performed as soon as possible because it is a safety issue for you and anyone else who rides in your vehicle and potentially others on the road.
- If your vehicle is recalled, the needed repair is performed FREE of charge. The manufacturer will send a Technical Service Bulletin to their authorized dealerships to explain the issue and how to effectuate the appropriate repair. Again, the repair is done at no cost to you.
- When you buy a new car, your information is forwarded to the manufacturer. When the manufacturer announces a voluntary recall or is ordered to recall vehicles by the NHTSA, they must alert all vehicle owners via mail.
- If you move residences after purchasing a new car, you should update your address with the vehicle manufacturer.
- If you purchase a used vehicle, you should alert the manufacturer that you are the new owner of the vehicle and provide your address.
- Even if you keep the manufacturer abreast of your current residence, recalls can be lost in the mail or, as sometimes happens at our house, lost inside the pages of a magazine, catalog or flyer, and this is why you should check to see if there are any open recalls on your vehicle by going to this page: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls/vehicle-safety-recalls-week
- The NHTSA also tracks car seats, tires and other vehicle equipment, so you can check for recalls on those items as well.
- On average each year, 10 to 20 million vehicles are recalled every year so be sure to make sure your vehicle is not one of the ones affected.
At the Law Offices of John Day, our award-winning lawyers are experienced in product defect cases and are here to help if you need us. We handle all injury and death cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we recover money for you and your family. We offer a free, confidential initial consultation in which we will talk to you about your case and determine if we think we can help.