Does my car have a recall?

by William Mattar | May 14th, 2018

The SaferCar.gov website provides a vehicle identification number (VIN) tool to help car owners find out if their vehicle is under a recall. By entering the VIN number assigned to your vehicle, you can learn if that vehicle has been subject to a recall during the last 15 years. This VIN tool also covers incomplete safety recalls and recalls involving manufacturers of motorcycles.

Alternately, the VIN search tool will not give information about why a safety recall exists, recalls involving international vehicles and safety recalls over 15 years old.

The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration lists the following as examples of vehicle defects considered unsafe (taken directly from NHTSA):

  • Steering components that break suddenly causing partial or complete loss of vehicle control.
  • Problems with fuel system components, particularly in their susceptibility to crash damage, that result in leakage of fuel and possibly cause vehicle fires.
  • Accelerator controls that may break or stick.
  • Wheels that crack or break, resulting in loss of vehicle control.
  • Engine cooling fan blades that break unexpectedly causing injury to persons working on a vehicle.
  • Windshield wiper assemblies that fail to operate properly.
  • Seats and/or seat backs that fail unexpectedly during normal use.
  • Critical vehicle components that break, fall apart, or separate from the vehicle, causing potential loss of vehicle control or injury to persons inside or outside the vehicle.
  • Wiring system problems that result in a fire or loss of lighting.
  • Car ramps or jacks that may collapse and cause injury to someone working on a vehicle.
  • Air bags that deploy under conditions for which they are not intended to deploy.

Child safety seats that contain defective safety belts, buckles, or components that create a risk of injury, not only in a vehicle crash but also in non-operational safety of a motor vehicle.Examples of vehicle defects that are not considered a safety issue, according to the NHTSA include:

  • Broken radios or air conditioners
  • Ordinary wear and tear of vehicle components that owners should have inspected and maintained periodically
  • Body or nonstructural rust/inferior paint quality/blemishes
  • Excessive consumption of oil by a vehicle

When a vehicle is subject to a safety recall, repair costs are usually covered by the manufacturer of the vehicle, not the owner.

Vehicle Safety Recalls and Accidents

Although manufacturers may not be legally expected to cover safety recall costs, an attorney may be able to help you obtain compensation if you have been injured after a recall.

In addition, suffering serious injuries due to a defective vehicle hitting you while driving your vehicle or as a pedestrian may also be compensable. If this has happened to you, contact William Mattar today to make an appointment for a free initial consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer.