To ensure that car companies that sell their products in the U.S. live up to this responsibility, federal regulations require an auto recall in one of two situations:
- When a motor vehicle or related piece of equipment does not comply with a federal motor vehicle safety standard.
- When there is a safety-related defect.
Federal law defines a “safety-related defect” as one that poses a risk to motor vehicle safety, and may be present in a group of vehicles or pieces of equipment with the same design or manufacture. Common examples include gas pedals or brakes that stick, or wiring systems that carry a serious fire hazard.
After announcing a recall and notifying car owners, manufacturers have three options for making things right: repair, replacement or refund.
Unfortunately, in the case of a serious defect, it often takes several serious crashes before regulators and the automaker take notice. And even after the recall begins, owners may not get prompt notification. Or there may be delays in getting the necessary parts to repair the defect for everyone who needs it.
Because an auto recall does not stop all defect-related crashes, victims may be able to recover damages through a product liability. If you have been hurt because of a defective automobile, a personal injury attorney can help you determine your next move.