Understanding vehicle recalls

Florida drivers may be interested to learn that in 2009, 30,000 people lost their lives on America’s roadways, which represents a decrease of 28 percent from 2006. However, traffic accidents were still the biggest cause of death for Americans under the age of 34. Furthermore, injuries and deaths from traffic accidents may leave behind a staggering and long-term emotional toll on families.

Created in 1996, the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act allows motor vehicles to be recalled if they do not meet federal safety standards. These actions may be ordered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and are usually issued if there is a safety-related defect associated with a particular vehicle. A safety-related defect is any defect in the design, performance or component of a vehicle that could lead to a higher risk of injury.

Defects that may be covered in such a recall include problems with steering fluid or other steering components or problems with a car’s brakes. If airbags do not deploy or deploy suddenly, that could be a cause for a recall. Any tools used to jack up a vehicle may be recalled if they are defective. This is because it could lead to a car crashing on top of someone while he or she is working to repair the car.

Those who have been hurt or family members of those who are killed by defective products may take legal action. If successful, an injured party may be able to win compensation for medical bills. It may also be possible to win compensation for the cost associated with a family member’s death. A personal injury attorney may be able to provide assistance in court if a case goes to trial or in settling a case outside of court.

SourceU.S. Department of Transportation, “Motor Vehicle Defects and Safety Recalls: What Every Vehicle Owner Should Know“, November 23, 2014