Car Safety Recalls

There was a safety recall that involved a motor vehicle or a part of motor vehicle equipment from a manufacturer as directed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA. In which case, the manufacturer can file a public report that defined the safety-related defect or the noncompliance with a federal motor vehicle safety standard, the involved vehicle or equipment population, the main events that caused in the recall, a description of the remedy, and the schedule for the recall. NHTSA checks every safety recall to make sure that the manufacturers give the owners safe, free, and effective remedies according to the federal laws and regulations.

Manufacturers must notify the owners of the recalled products. For vehicles, it means that the manufacturers combine their records of vehicle buyers with the present state vehicle registration information. With the equipment where state registration does not applicable, the manufacturers are obliged to inform their distribution agents and known buyers of the recalled equipment. But, even if one does not receive any notification, and if your vehicle, the child seat, or other part of equipment is involved in the safety recall, the manufacturer is obliged to give a free remedy.

Every notification letter must have the following information:

  • Illustrate the defect or noncompliance
  • The risks or the hazards posed by the problem which include warning of the problem
  • A concise description of the free remedy which includes when the remedy will be available and how long the repair will take
  • Brief description of what the owner should do if the owner is not able to have the problem fixed within a reasonable time and without charges or fees

The free remedy means that the repair, or replacement, or re-purchase of the vehicle or the part of the equipment that will fix the safety defect or the noncompliance. The manufacturer will first decide the kind of remedy the vehicle or the part of the equipment needed, but it may be changed if it is ineffective. The owners should have the recall work done immediately.

The recalls that involve the tires are particularly restricted so that the owner has three months only from the date of notification to have the recall work done. All the safety recalls are in effect for the life of the product.

Federal law does not offer reimbursement for the damages that the defect or noncompliance may have caused, nor for reimbursement for the costs in fixing the problem before the manufacturer ordered a safety recall. Owners may recover the costs personally. But most of the manufacturers reimburse the owners for the costs incurred before the safety recall, if the owner has kept the receipts for the service.

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