If you have been involved in a car wreck and one of the involved vehicles was under a product recall, then you might wonder: how does a product recall impact my car accident case? The best way to get an answer is to contact a personal injury attorney who can answer your questions directly. In the meantime, keep reading for a general idea of what to expect.
There Are Many Potential Vehicle Defects That Can Lead to a Recall
It is common for a person to assume that if they buy a new car, then that car is relatively safe. This is not always the case. Consider the case in which GM built cars with defective ignition switches that resulted in 50 deaths, or the Takata airbag debacle that lead to multiple deaths and 60+ serious injuries.
Other product defects that have occurred in cars include brake system malfunction, fuel leaks that lead to fire, defective electrical systems, unsafe tires, steering issues, and faulty accelerators that can prevent a car from moving or accelerate it too quickly.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has the Power to Issue Recalls
Established many years ago, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards outline minimum performance requirements that vehicles and their parts must meet. These standards cover brakes, tires, lighting, airbags, child safety seats, motorcycle helmets, and many other elements of vehicles. If a specific product does not comply with these standards, then it might be necessary for a product recall.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is in charge of issuing these recalls. They only issue a recall if the defective issue is also a safety issue, such as airbags that deploy when they should not deploy, brake failure, and other serious issues. The company that manufactured the faulty part can also choose to issue a voluntary recall.
The Way Recalls Work
Once a recall is ordered, the manufacturer is required to notify customers within a “reasonable time” by first-class mail. The letter must include an explanation of the issue and the potential safety risks. The manufacturer can choose if they want to repair the vehicle, replace it with a similar vehicle, or refund the purchase price, minus minimal depreciation.
How Product Recalls Affect Car Accident Liability
If a person is injured in a car accident with a recalled vehicle or a vehicle with a recalled part, then the company that was responsible for the defective design could be held wholly or partially responsible for the accident. However, if the owner of the recalled vehicle received notice of the recall and failed to take the necessary action to make their vehicle safe, then the manufacturer would likely not be at fault.
The bottom line is this: every case is different. If you want to know what your options are in a car accident case involving a recall, then we recommend you contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.