Vehicle Safety Recalls: How to find out if your car has a recall and what to do about it

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Vehicle Safety Recalls:
How to find out if your car has a recall and what to do about it

Purchasing a car is often a tedious process and once you’re finally able to drive out of the dealership lot with your new wheels, the last thing you want to worry about is running into issues. Unfortunately that nightmare has come true for owners of the Volkswagen Atlas SUVs from 2019 through 2023 model years that are being recalled for having faulty wiring harnesses which cause sudden braking.

Volkswagen recalled 246,000 vehicles last week after The Associated Press reported that 47 people complained to US safety regulators that in addition to suddenly braking in traffic, their vehicles were unexpectedly sounding off alarms and rolling down the driver’s side windows. No accidents were reported among these complaints, although a few claimed to have had near misses when their cars suddenly braked on city streets.

This recall of over a quarter million vehicles in the U.S. and Canada is one step taken by Volkswagen to avoid a repeat of General Motors’ deadly auto recall that killed 124 people. In February 2014, GM recalled 2.6 million cars with a faulty ignition switch that could accidentally switch off while being driven, resulting in loss of control and disabled safety features such as power steering, anti-lock brakes and airbags.

Vehicle recalls don’t all have such catastrophic outcomes, but it’s still important to know how to check for them and what to do about them before you run into a larger problem.

How to find out if your car is affected by a safety recall:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a database that allows you to search for safety issues and recalls with your vehicle by doing a general search or entering your car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). You can also sign up for recall alerts on your phone by downloading their SaferCar app.

If you discover a safety problem with your vehicle, tires, seats or other equipment and it hasn’t been recalled, you can file a complaint with the NHTSA.

What happens if your car has been recalled?

By law, manufacturers are required to either repair your vehicle, provide you with an identical or similar replacement, or refund the purchase price of the vehicle while deducting a reasonable amount for depreciation.

What if you get into an accident caused by a vehicle defect?

There are many possible scenarios you can run into: you can get into an accident before or after the manufacturer announced the recall, or there could be no recall at all pertaining to the defect that caused your accident. It’s also likely that you may not even know that the accident was caused by a defect.

Taking these details into consideration, here is a list of things you should do immediately if you get into a car accident and you suspect or know it was due to a vehicle recall:

  1. Gather your evidence relating to the accident, including photographs of vehicle damage and the scene.
  2. Organize your records of repair work or mechanical services.
  3. Keep recall notices that you may have received in the past.
  4. Don’t make any repairs after your accident. Be sure to talk to an attorney before doing anything to your car that could potentially destroy any evidence.

If you’ve been in an accident, the skilled Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Custodio & Dubey LLP have recovered millions of dollars for individuals and families who were harmed in accidents that could have been prevented and are here to fight for the justice you deserve.

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