What to do During a Recall

Date: July 31, 2014
Name: What to do During a Recall

Vehicle recalls are at an all time high. Last year, nearly 22 million vehicles were flagged for recalls. Based on that figure, you might have been one of those people affected by a vehicle recall notice. That can be a major concern, not just because it’s an inconvenience, but also because you could be driving a vehicle that’s not safe. So how do you handle that recall notice when you get it in the mail?

First of all, keep in mind that recalls are often just precautionary. It doesn’t mean that your car is dangerous or it’s about to break down. It just means that a problem in the manufacturing process has been identified and might become a problem for you. The recall might be a completely voluntary measure by the automaker, or it might have been mandated by the federal government.

Next, you’ll want to confirm that it’s your year and model car that was actually affected. Check out your vehicle at safecar.gov to verify. Recalls are often busy times for automakers and it is possible that your car is not actually subject to the recall notice.

If it is under recall, you need to find out if you’re eligible for free repairs or replacement. If your vehicle is less than 10 years old from the date of purchase, then the automaker must repair, replace or provide a refund for the purchase price. If it’s older than ten years, you might be expected to pay for the repairs out of pocket.

After that, the automaker will have a grace period with which to create a plan of action for your recalled vehicle. Many dealers will do this right away, but keep in mind that they aren’t required to do anything until the official cut off date.

Finally, if you’re having a problem getting the company to handle your recall, you should contact the dealer’s service manager and give them a copy of the recall notice. If they refuse to act, you should contact the manufacturer directly. You can also file a complaint with the NHTSA if you feel you are not being treated fairly.

Keep in mind that this recall information only applies before you have problems with the vehicle. However, if a defect in the manufacturing process causes you to get into an accident, you might want to talk to an attorney regarding product liability.

Oregon, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are all responsible for the safety of their products. If you or a loved one has experienced an accident due to a defect in the manufacturing process, contact an Oregon product liability attorney to protect your rights.

You can seek compensation for injuries from:

  • Design defects: when the poor or flawed design of a product makes it dangerous
  • Manufacturing defects: when a problem is introduced during manufacturing that makes a product dangerous
  • Marketing defects: when the warning labels or instructions are not sufficient or appropriate to protect consumers from injury

By pursuing damages from companies that allow unsafe products to be created, distributed, and sold in Oregon, you may be helping others who have had similar experiences. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 30 million people are injured every year in the United States due to defective products.

Do not wait to get help: contact a Portland product liability attorney for a free consultation as soon as possible. In product liability cases, it can be imperative to get pictures and start investigating what happened as soon as possible, because product liability cases have their own special (and very difficult) statutes of limitations (ORS 30.905), which can be much shorter than the more common statutes.