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According to the 1966 National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has clear authority to compel manufacturers to recall automobiles that fail to comply with the safety standards. In essence, this means that vehicles that pose a risk to the safety of drivers, passengers, or others on the road must be recalled. Manufacturers and distributors can also issue their own voluntary recalls.
Examples of defects that can lead to recalls include:
- Accelerator or brake problems. Accelerator or brake pedals that stick, break, or otherwise fail can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles and crash.
- Fire dangers. Faulty wiring, fuel system components susceptible to damage during crashes, and overly flammable materials can all cause serious problems.
- Part failures leading to loss of driver control. These might include tires that explode or separate under certain circumstances, brittle wheels, engine components that break or fail under certain conditions, and steering or transmission components that lock up.
- Safety feature failures. Defective airbags (such as airbags that fail to deploy or that deploy at an odd angle), defective seatbelts and restraining devices, and safety components or buckles that fail, causing or contributing to injury.
Not all recalls will be related to safety. For instance, a manufacturer may recall a vehicle because it consumes too much oil, rusts overly easily, comes with a lackluster air conditioning or radio, or contains components or parts that need to be replaced, maintained, inspected, and repaired more often than the consumer was led to expect.
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The Beginnings of an Automobile Recall
NHTSA investigations may prompt a recall, as may multiple complaints by owners of the same make and model of a vehicle. In some cases, as discussed above, the manufacturers of a certain piece of equipment or of a make or model may instigate a recall.
Litigation over motor vehicle safety defects can get complicated and can stretch on for years, particularly if a class of drivers has been harmed. If you believe that you or a family member sustained injury as the result of a defective component, part, or vehicle, do not wait to call us for legal advice.
In Northern California, for instance, the “statute of limitations” on personal injury and wrongful death cases is two years from the date of the accident. The longer you wait after the accident to launch an investigation, the harder it can be to identify the true cause of the accident and of any collateral damage.
To develop an effective and methodical approach, connect today with our San Jose defective auto lawyers at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP who serve all of Northern California. Collectively, for more than 85 years, our firm has delivered exceptional results for clients in personal injury cases, and we serve accident victims in the Silicon Valley and throughout Northern California.
Get a confidential free case evaluation by calling (800) 900-0863.