Auto manufacturers recall vehicles for safety defects each year. For example, Ford is recalling 1.4 million Fusion and Lincoln MKZ vehicles with steering wheels that can detach or loosen. Hyundai is recalling 155,000 Sonatas with defective airbag modules. These are only a few examples. Some recalls are much larger. The Takata airbag recall affects an estimated 34 million vehicles sold in the United States.
If your vehicle contains an unfixed recall, it may be unsafe to drive. Your vehicle’s manufacturer is required by federal law to inform you when there is a recall. However, there are reasons why you may not receive this notice if it arrives in the mail. There are two simple ways to check if your vehicle has an unfixed recall.
- Use NHTSA’s website. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website allows you to check for recalls. You will need to enter your 17-digit VIN (vehicle identification number) into the website. This number can typically be found on insurance paperwork, your insurance card, vehicle paperwork or on the driver’s side dashboard. The website may display your vehicle’s unfixed recall.
- Call your dealership. Did you hear about a recall that may affect your vehicle on the news? An easy way to see if your vehicle is affected is to simply call your dealership. Provide the dealership with the make and model of your vehicle. The dealership could also use your VIN to look up recall information.
How Do I Fixed a Recalled Vehicle?
Your automaker must fix recalls for free. If you have a Honda, then you need to go to a Honda dealership. You can call them to schedule an appointment for repairs. It may be necessary to make arrangements to get the vehicle to your dealership. Some recalls make your vehicle too dangerous to drive. In those cases, you should see if the dealership will tow the vehicle in for repairs.
Some dealerships may not have the parts necessary for repairs for several weeks or months. You should ask if the dealership will provide you with a loaner vehicle until repairs can be completed.
What If I’m Injured by a Vehicle Defect?
Your vehicle’s manufacturer or the dealership where you purchased the vehicle could be liable if a defect causes harm to you or a loved one. Auto component manufacturers and retailers could also be liable. A product liability lawyer could help you determine which parties (if any) are liable for an injury or death.
The Tennessee product liability attorneys at Myers & Ball, LLP could discuss your situation at no cost during a free consultation. We could help you determine whether you have options to seek compensation against your vehicle’s manufacturer or other parties.