What Happens if You’re in a Car Accident Caused by a Vehicle Recall? 

Posted: November 22, 2022

Vehicle recall laws exist to protect consumers from hazards caused by safety noncompliance and production flaws of manufacturers. If you were injured because of a defect that has caused a product recall, you may be entitled to compensation.   

What Is a Vehicle Recall? 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), a recall is necessary when a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment does not comply with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard or there is a safety-related defect in the vehicle or equipment. According to the United States Code for Motor Vehicle Safety a defect includes “any defect in performance, construction, a component, or material of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment.” NHTSA says that a safety defects exists when motor vehicle equipment, or the motor vehicle itself, poses an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety, and “may exist in a group of vehicles of the same design or manufacture, or items of equipment of the same type and manufacture.” 

According to the NHTSA, vehicle recalls are initiated voluntarily by the manufacturer. However, the NHTSA, a government agency devoted to keeping people safe on roadways, can also make the decision to conduct a recall when necessary. 

Numerous possible defects can serve as a basis for such recalls. Those related to a vehicle’s engine, transmission, tires, steering column, airbags, seat belts, and safety restraints are just a few. Since technological advancements are becoming progressively complex, many safety features are increasingly dependent on them. A higher number of mishaps can result from even the slightest of technical flaws. 

Examples of Well-Known Recalls 

One recall that stands out is Takata’s airbag recall. This product defect required the recalling of millions of airbags manufactured by The Takata Corporation, a now-defunct automotive company that was headquartered in Japan. The Takata airbag recall affected major automakers around the world and the consumers who purchased their vehicles. 

As another example, over 817,000 vehicles have been affected by a Tesla Seat Belt chime recall. The possibility of the chime not sounding when the seat belt remains unfastened offers a serious potential risk. 

Here is one more: There was a recall of  2017-2022 Chevrolet Bolts due to the risk of the battery pack catching fire. Over 110,000 vehicles were affected by this recall. 

Stay Abreast Of Existing Vehicle Recalls 

Although the percentage of accidents due to vehicle recalls may seem relatively small compared to other causes like speeding and driver inattention, casting the spotlight on this problem should not be taken lightly. Being proactive and staying informed about possible recalls involving your vehicle is a course of action for those looking to stay safe on the roads. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation offers an updated record of vehicle recalls in effect from 1966 to the present. Search NHTSA recalls by manufacturer, recall date, type, description, and many other categories. 

Vehicle Recall and Liability 

The liability associated with injuries caused by vehicles or equipment subject to a recall can be complex. Potential liability is not necessarily limited to one party, such as the vehicle maker. The manufacturer of a defective component could also be held liable. Therefore, if you have been in an accident caused by a vehicle recall, you may have multiple claims. 

Manufacturers have a responsibility to abide by standards that safeguard the consumer. Title 49, United States Code, Chapter 301, which prescribes motor vehicle safety standards for motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment in interstate commerce, makes that crystal clear.  

Injured in an Accident Caused by a Vehicle Recall? Call William Mattar, P.C. 

If you were injured in a car accident caused by a vehicle recall, William Mattar P.C. is here to help you get maximum compensation. Fill out our contact form for your free consultation or call (844) 444-4444 any time of the day or evening. 

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