Your vehicle may be the single most safety-critical item you own. If you can’t trust your car to operate properly, you could get into a crash that you have no way to prevent regardless of how careful or skillful of a driver you are. When motor vehicle manufacturers discover defects in the design of their products or faulty components used in different manufacturing batches, they have to initiate recalls.
A motor vehicle recall usually requires a consumer to return the affected vehicle to the dealership where they bought it. The dealership can then make the necessary repairs or replace defective parts with new, working components. Certain trends in motor vehicle recalls could affect your safety.
Older vehicle recalls have started to diminish
Vehicles that have been on the road for more than a few years are no longer among the most commonly recalled vehicles. With the exception of vehicles that have defective airbags or dangerous airbag components, older vehicles are less likely to be in a recall these days than newer, more recently manufactured vehicles.
Owner compliance with recalls has dipped in the last year
Those subject to a vehicle recall are often eager to get their vehicle back in as quickly as possible for necessary repairs. People often have a hard time scheduling timely recall repairs to their vehicles. Over the last year, that trend has reversed, with a lower percentage of owners than usual bringing in their vehicles quickly when notified of a recall.
Recalls often involve minor issues that can cause bigger problems
A recent recall requested that all owners park their vehicles outside of the garage until a component got replaced because it could cause a fire even while the vehicle was not working. There have been multiple vehicles recalled because of faulty hood latches, meaning the hood of the vehicle could pop up and completely obscure a driver’s vision while driving. While these risks were minimal, if they manifested at the wrong time, the results could be catastrophic.
Paying attention when your vehicle is part of a recall is important because it can protect you from getting hurt. However, owners affected by defective vehicles have rights regardless of the recall status of the vehicle. Knowing your rights as a consumer will help you stand up for them if you or someone you love gets hurt because of a defective product.