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Auto Recalls: How They Really Work

Wednesday, November 07, 2018By Richard Alexander

The Recall Process

A recall usually starts with a number of drivers reporting similar problems to their dealers. After a number of complaints are collected, the automaker generally looks into the situation to assess the problem and determine how to repair it. The manufacturer is typically made aware of the issue fairly quickly after several reports of a defect are submitted. Many recalls are secret and issued as Technical Service Bulletins to dealers to change or upgrade as cars are serviced. Once the automaker cannot hide the problem, it can issue a voluntary recall to inform owners and lessees of the problem and offer a complimentary repair at a local dealer.

The Role of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

If the problem is not addressed by the automaker and the reports of a defect continue, the federal government will get involved to help consumers address the issue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a federal organization that oversees automobile safety. The NHTSA reviews complaints by owners or lessees regarding the quality or safety of their cars. While the NHTSA reviews every complaint it receives, its decision to initiate an investigation is made on an individualized basis. The NHTSA is also authorized to compel a company to issue a recall if the car falls short of minimum safety standards or poses safety risks. When the automaker is aware of a problem, it is required to inform the NHTSA of a safety defect.

Why Announce a Voluntary Recall?

Many automakers opt to issue a voluntary recall rather than take a “wait and see” approach. This could potentially prevent injuries and deaths resulting from the defect. A voluntary recall could also save the automaker’s reputation. If the NHTSA finds that the automaker deliberately concealed safety defects, then the company could be exposed to criminal penalties.

If you or a member of your family suffered injury or death as a result of negligence or a defective automobile, contact the attorneys Alexander Law Group, LLP. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will answer your questions and get you the maximum compensation that is possible. Call 888.777.1776 or contact us online.

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