What To Do When Your Vehicle Is Recalled

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While vehicle recalls are a vital mechanism for ensuring safety, new findings indicate that an inordinate number of people are not taking defects as seriously as they should. Because of this, the Pennsylvania auto accident lawyers of Handler Henning & Rosenberg have stepped up to offer tips on getting a recall taken care of before a threat emerges.

While it may seem like an inconvenience, getting a defect immediately fixed is the only way to ensure safe future travels.

To protect consumers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administers a recall process that alerts owners when a serious defect may affect their vehicles. When this process works, injuries, and even death, can be limited, if not averted entirely.

Unfortunately, the process does not always work the way it should. Recently, one automaker has been in the news for allegedly knowing of a safety defect years before issuing a recall. This has led to many safety advocates questioning whether the NHTSA is doing an adequate job investigating possible problems.

One facet of the recall process that cannot be overlooked is the role of the consumer. As a March 21 article from National Public Radio, entitled “As Carmakers Turn Up The Recalls, Consumers Tune Out,” notes, vehicle owners themselves may often be falling short when it comes to recall correction.

This is unacceptable. The Harrisburg car accident attorneys of Handler Henning & Rosenberg have dealt firsthand with the devastating fallout of collisions caused by defective parts, and they implore consumers not to ignore important recalls. Attorney Matthew S. Crosby is calling upon consumer affected by a recall to do their part for safety:

“A lot has to go right for a recall to be issued before people get hurt,” said Mr. Crosby, “so it’s disappointing that a recall can be issued only to have a vehicle owner ignore the warning. While it may seem like an inconvenience, getting a defect immediately fixed is the only way to ensure safe future travels. Otherwise, not only could you endanger yourself, but also your family and every other family on the road.”

For those unaccustomed to the recall process, Handler Henning & Rosenberg has put together a step-by-step guide for promoting safety and getting a vehicle fixed:

•Report Any Issues- Reports of vehicle problems by owners often provide the impetus for a widespread recall. Whenever an individual suspects there is a safety issue with their vehicle, a report should be filed regardless of whether a crash has occurred.

•Track Ownership- When buying or selling, make sure to always report the transfer of a vehicle to the proper local authorities and to the automaker itself. Also notify the automaker if a change of address has occurred.

•Keep Up To Date- Pay attention to the news and to the NHTSA’s recall database so that you are aware of any recalls.

•Look For The Notification- The owners of a vehicle often receive an alert via a mailed letter that can easily be confused with junkmail. Watch for anything from an automaker, as this documentation could explain the recall and corrective steps to take.

•Contact The Automaker- If you know or suspect that your vehicle has been recalled but you received no notification, contact a local dealer or a corporate office to correct any notification issues.

•Schedule Repairs- Get in touch with a dealer close to home and arrange for the vehicle to be fixed.

•Avoid Driving If Necessary- Depending on the nature of the recall and the availability of parts, the timeframe for repairs may vary dramatically. As such, owners may have to decide between alternate transportation or driving anunsafe vehicle. Handler Henning & Rosenberg advises erring on the side of caution, and not using the automobile until repairs can be made.

•Inquire About Interim Measures- If a vehicle cannot be driven because of the danger posed by a defect, it may be possible to secure a loaner vehicle.

The lawyers of Handler Henning & Rosenberg have been assisting injured parties for more than 90 years. Matthew S. Crosby and the rest of the firm’s attorneys offer representation to those injured in a host of practice areas, including automobile accidents, defective medical devices, premises liability, dog bites, and more. Injured parties seeking help with their injury claims may call to obtain a free consultation, and those interested in learning more about the firm’s services should visit their auto accident lawsuit website, available at this link.

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Becky S. Voras
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