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New Statewide Pilot Program Alerts Owners to Recalls

Friday, June 15, 2018By Nina Shapirshteyn

Experts have warned owners and drivers that unrepaired recalls can have devastating consequences. In March, a man in Indianapolis jumped into a frigid lake to save his daughter when his car shifted out of the park position with his daughter inside the vehicle. The car was subject to a recall for a faulty gear shift, but that car had never been repaired. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has emphasized the importance of following recall instructions, but many owners either fail to address the recall or are unaware of the defect. Some states are trying to change that through their own driver notification programs.

Maryland is now the first state to provide information to car owners regarding their car’s recall status. The pilot program checks the vehicle registration numbers of cars that are registered with the state against the recall database prior to mailing registration renewal notices. Drivers then receive information via mail about open recalls when their registration renewal become due.

The state received a $222,300 grant from the NHTSA to launch the program. Many industry leaders applauded the state’s two-year pilot program as a meaningful step toward addressing unrepaired safety recalls that owners may never become aware of for a variety of reasons. Although manufacturers typically alert owners of recalled vehicles, many drivers who own the affected vehicles fail to receive notice either because their mailing addresses have changed or they have sold their cars to other parties. Because the Motor Vehicle Administration has access to contact information for every resident in a particular state, safety recall notices can now reliably reach the owners.

While drivers can still renew their registrations without fixing an open recall issue, program sponsors are hopeful that an official recall notice from a state agency will motivate owners to take action. In addition, owners who routinely mistake recall notices for junk mail will now become aware of an issue if one exists. At the very least, the recall notice will be welcomed by those who would willingly repair their cars but had no knowledge of a safety defect from the manufacturer.      

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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