Vehicle recalls are an all too common occurrence. Whenever a manufacturer determines that a vehicle it has released into the market has some element that presents an unreasonable safety risk, the manufacturer issues a recall. The manufacturer must repair the problem, replace the vehicle, or otherwise remedy the problem.
Vehicle recalls can be more than just an inconvenience. If not quickly and properly addressed, faulty equipment and inadequate safety provisions can cause serious auto accidents, injuries, and even death to owners who continue to drive affected vehicles.
Recalls all begin with the discovery of some defect that makes operation of the vehicle unsafe. The manufacturer itself can make the discovery, but more often, recalls occur after owners of the affected vehicles have made complaints of defects.
The manufacturer will issue recalls voluntarily most of the time. However, if they refuse to cooperate and issue a recall, the government may intervene. If the government mandates a recall, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA)1 will order the manufacturer to begin the recall process and force the manufacturer’s cooperation.
After a recall has been initiated, notice will be sent to all owners of affected vehicles. This notice will come in the mail from the manufacturer and will be sent to all registered owners of the vehicles targeted by the recall. The notice will give you details about your rights in the recall and information on when and where you can have your vehicle repaired. Most recalls are handled through local dealerships that will repair or replace the affected part.
Under the law, the manufacturer can elect the time of remedy it provides for recalled vehicles. Typically, there are three categories of recall remedies your manufacturer may choose.
Repair: If your manufacturer chooses this option, he will simply repair the defect with your vehicle and return it to you in working condition. This option is usually selected for simple or quick fix issues.
Replace: Your manufacturer may also choose to simply replace the specific equipment that has the issue.
Refund: Your manufacturer may also choose to refund your purchase, though the amount you receive will often be adjusted for depreciation and less than you paid.
Manufacturers must give all owners a remedy within a reasonable amount of time. While a reasonable amount of time may seem like it would be short, vehicle recalls, such as the Toyota airbag recall, can affect millions of vehicles across the globe. In these situations, it may be a long time before the manufacturer can address the problems with your vehicle. However, when you do get your repair or replacement parts, they should come at absolutely no cost to you.
How Do I know If My Vehicle Is Subject to a Recall?
It is important that you keep your vehicle registration up to date, as this is how manufacturers will notify you if your vehicle is subject to a recall. To determine if your vehicle is subject to this or any other recall, visit https://www.flhsmv.gov/recalls/ and search for your make and model. You can also set up email notifications for your vehicle online on the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle site.
What To Do If You Own A Recalled Vehicle
If your vehicle has been subject to a recall, there are a Florida laws in place to protect you. If you bought your vehicle new, you may qualify for additional protection under Florida’s Lemon Law statute.2 If you were injured as the result of a defective and/or recalled vehicle, you may be able to bring a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer to receive compensation for your injuries.
A New Port Richey personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate your unique situation and the problems affecting your vehicle and ensure that you receive all of the compensation you are entitled to.
Contact a New Port Richey Personal Injury Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation!
If you have been injured by a recalled vehicle, contact a New Port Richey personal injury attorney right away. Florida tort law allows victims to recover compensation for injuries and other losses that they may experience as a result of a preventable accident. A lawyer familiar with litigating Florida personal injury cases can often help victims recover substantially more compensation than they would be able to retain on their own, so it is highly advisable for anyone injured in an accident to discuss their options with an experienced lawyer.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers at the Dolman Law Group, call our office today at 727-853-6275 or send us an email through our online contact form.
Dolman Law Group
5435 Main Street
New Port Richey, FL 34652