Federal Agency Oversees Recalls of Vehicle Defects

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration announced recently that it had recalled more than 17.8 million products during 2012. The NHTSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is responsible for setting safety standards for vehicles and products related to vehicles, investing alleged defects, and announcing and tracking safety recalls, among other roles. The recent announcement is an indication of how hard the agency works to protect the lives of everyone on the nation’s roads.

Under federal law, auto manufacturers are required to notify the NHTSA if they become aware of potential defect in their vehicles. According to the NHTSA, manufacturers filed more than 650 voluntarily safety recalls last year. The agency also indicates that it influenced the recall of more than 9 million vehicles and 60,000 items of vehicle equipment, including child safety seats and tires.

Despite the federal law, not all defects are reported and voluntarily recalled by manufacturers. Often, a product is recalled only after the NHTSA initiates an investigation into potential safety defects. The agency constantly monitors sources of information, such as auto websites, bulletin boards and popular magazines, that could alert it to safety issues. In addition, consumers can file complaints directly with the agency. Consumers filed more than 41,000 complaints in 2012. Those complaints are carefully reviewed and analyzed by the agency in an effort to catch trends that could indicate a safety issue. In the past three years alone, more than 430 recalls have occurred as a direct result of investigations initiated by the agency.

The owner of a recalled vehicle should follow the instructions in the recall notice to have the defect repaired or the defective part replaced. Vehicle defects can lead to serious, even fatal, collisions when not caught in time. When this happens, the manufacturer of the defective product may be held liable for any injuries that were caused by the defective product. To find out whether your vehicle or equipment has been the subject of a recall, you can check the NHTSA website.

If a vehicle defect caused or contributed to a car accident that injured you or a loved one, you could be entitled to compensation. The Yakima Valley car accident attorneys at Mariano Morales Law can help you get through the legal process and make sure that the party responsible for your injuries or loss is held accountable. Contact the team today by calling (509) 853-2222 or using our online contact form for your free initial consultation.