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safety January 29, 2015

Explaining Automotive Safety Recalls

2014 was a record year for auto safety recalls. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration one in five vehicles, over 50 million cars and trucks, on the United States roads, have drawn warnings for critical defects.

An automotive safety recall is required when a motor vehicle or a part of the vehicles equipment does not comply with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard or when there is a safety-related defect in the vehicle or equipment.

 

Safety related recalls might include:

  • Steering components that break suddenly causing partial or complete loss of vehicle control
  • Problems with fuel system components that could result in gas leaking and possibly causing a vehicle to catch fire if in an accident
  • Accelerator controls that may break or stick
  • Tires cracking or breaking, resulting in loss of driving control
  • Engine cooling fan blades that unexpectedly break causing injury to a mechanic
  • Windshield wipers not functioning properly
  • Seats and/or seat backs that fail unexpectedly during normal use
  • Important vehicle components that break, fall apart, or separate from the vehicle, causing possible loss of vehicle control and injury
  • Wiring system problems that result in a fire or loss of lighting
  • Car ramps or jacks that may collapse and cause injury to a mechanic or the vehicles owner
  • Air bags that deploy under conditions in which they are not intended to deploy
  • Etc.

 If a safety issue is discovered the vehicle’s manufacturer must file a public report describing the safety-related defect or noncompliance with a Federal motor vehicle safety standard, the involved vehicle/equipment population, the hazard that resulted in the recall decision, a description of the solution, when the service for repair will be available and how long the repair will take.

Here’s an alarming fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly one-third of recall notices mailed to vehicle owners are ignored.

Flaws related to the following are not considered safety-related and would not be covered by the manufacturer or Safety Act:

  • Radios or the air conditioning system not working correctly
  • Equipment that needs routine maintenance or replacement periodically like shocks, car batteries, break pads or exhaust systems
  • Body work like rust, a paint job or other cosmetic imperfections

Virginia Tire and Auto cares about your safety. If you receive a letter from your vehicles manufacturer notifying you of a safety recall, please contact your dealer as soon as possible to arrange for the recall repair. 

For more information on recalls on your specific vehicle, please visit http://www.recalls.gov/nhtsa.html

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