If it seems as if there have been considerably more recalls, fines, and product safety alerts than usual as of late, it is not your imagination. In all, some 973 vehicle, equipment, child safety seat, and tire recalls were issued in 2015, affecting 87,596,264 products.
Now, the United States Department of Transportation has launched a campaign to bring public awareness to the specifics of the many recalls that are issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other governmental agencies annually. Called the “Safe Cars Save Lives” campaign, the goal of the USDOT is to increase public awareness of the existence of vehicle recalls, as well as offer instructions to consumers as to how to check for information about a particular vehicle.
In addition to online banner ads concerning vehicle and product safety, the campaign will also include VIN look-up tools and safety videos.
What Exactly is a Recall?
A recall occurs when a product is either removed from the market or corrected in a particular manner, due to concerns that it is defective in some way. Some recalls are voluntary, with the manufacturer initiating the move, and others are mandated by the government. Regardless of how the recall begins, the manufacturer of the allegedly dangerous product must file a public report identifying the particular products that are at risk and the safety issues that may be involved.
With regard to vehicle recalls, manufacturers work with state vehicle registration agencies to notify known owners of the recall, usually via written correspondence. In addition to notifying consumers of the product recall, the manufacturer is also obligated to repair, replace, or repurchase the faulty item.
Why Consumer Awareness of Recalls is Important
The federal government estimates that about 25% of the vehicles that are recalled annually are never repaired. Failures to repair known defects in automobiles can lead to crashes, property damage, personal injury, and even death. This is why the USDOT is urging consumers to check for open recalls at least twice annually and, if a recall is discovered, to have the defect repaired as quickly as possible.
In addition to checking online recall registries and paying attention to mail concerning recalls, consumers also have the option of contacting the manufacturer or dealer directly and inquiring about possible recalls.
If You Have Been the Victim of a Defective Product
Products liability laws are designed to protect those who have been hurt or lost a loved one due to an unreasonably dangerous product. To speak to an experienced Massachusetts products liability lawyer about your case, call the Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, today at (888) 262-6664. We have offices conveniently located in both Hyannis and Plymouth, from which we serve clients throughout the Cape Cod area, as well as elsewhere in Massachusetts. There is no charge for the initial consultation, and many cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis.
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