by Steven Sanchez
Paralegal Investigator at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath LLP
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2014, a record 63.9 million vehicles were recalled. An additional 2.2 million vehicles were recalled for equipment related safety issues. 7.6 million car seats and 368,720 tires were also recalled. Recalls are issued when a manufacturer or NHTSA determines that a vehicle, equipment, car seat or tire creates an unreasonable safety risk or fails to meet minimum safety standards. Manufacturers of these products are required to fix the issue related to the recall by repairing or replacing it, offering a refund or repurchasing the vehicle.
Even more incredible, one third of all recalled cars and trucks don’t get repaired. This translates to 1 out of every 7 or 36 million vehicles still on the road having an unrepaired defect.
When buying, leasing or renting a vehicle for your family, ensuring the safety of that vehicle is critical. As it applies to the integrity and safety of a vehicle, do not rely solely on the assurance of the party from whom you are buying, leasing or renting the vehicle. Be sure to check for any recall notifications related to any safety defects and have those defects addressed immediately before the vehicle is operated.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has created a tool which allows consumers to enter a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to quickly learn if a specific vehicle has not been repaired as part of a safety recall in the last 15 years.