When it comes to automobiles, there are a number of parts that, if found to be defective, can cause it to be recalled. Among the many reasons one may be ordered, it could be for anything from floor mats to an improperly performing airbag to something more mechanical in nature such as a bad engine part.
When it comes to car manufacturers’ ads on TV or the radio, it’s not all that uncommon for safety to serve as the focal point for them. Marketers perceive safety to be the consumer’s top priority and, as a result, focus on it with the intention of it positively impacting sales.
When a car gets recalled, car manufacturers fear the impact that bad press brings. Aside from that, they also fear the potential financial repercussions that come with the territory as well, particularly if driver or passenger injury or death also results.
Then, there are also state and federal criminal and/or civil penalties that car manufacturers and their agents can be held liable for. This all being said, penalties for those car manufacturers not doing their due diligence to produce safe cars are stiff with the expectation of encouraging companies to safer and more reliable cars.
When it comes to a recall, a manufacturer may first note a defect themselves, but more often than not it’s brought to the attention of the carmaker by the consumer. Situations like this start with a safety complaint filed either with government regulators, the dealership, or a car manufacturer.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the government agency responsible for investigations into car safety, also is responsible for notifying car manufacturers of their requirement to initiate a voluntary recall. In order to reach out to affected car owners, they must do so by letter.
State agencies provide the manufacturer with a list of registered users in order to facilitate this. Letters contain details about how to get one’s car fixed and are supposed to emphasize to the consumer that the necessary repairs will be made free of charge, and be completed within a reasonable time frame.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident resulting from a design defect ultimately resulting in a recall, the advice of a Los Angeles product liability attorney can help you understand your rights in filing a potential civil claim.