Last year, nearly 13 million vehicles affected by national recalls were never fixed or repaired, according to federal regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This reportedly comprises about 25 percent of all vehicles impacted by U.S. recalls in 2015, representing a substantial rate of noncompliance.
Given that vehicle recalls are critical to removing the risks associated faulty or dangerous vehicle equipment, this rate of noncompliance has been troubling for regulators. And that is why they recently rolled out a new national public awareness campaign aimed at encouraging vehicle owners to be more proactive about checking for recalls and getting their vehicles repaired as soon as possible.
Known as Safe Cars Save Lives, this campaign is specifically recommending that vehicle owners check for recalls affecting their vehicles at least two times per year – and ideally around Daylight Savings time (i.e., in March and November) in order to make this practice a habit.
Explaining the value of this campaign, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has noted that:
Recalls are a serious safety issue that should be promptly addressed… An informed consumer is one of our strongest allies in ensuring recalled vehicles are repaired. Do not wait to act if your car is under recall and the parts are available.
NHTSA Proposal for Enhancing Recall Compliance
In addition to rolling out Safe Cars Save Lives, the NHTSA has taken some further steps to try to enhance recall compliance and reduce the risks motorists face on the roads. To this end, regulators have issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in regards to the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21 Act).
Via this ANPRM, officials are proposing to expand the required actions automakers must take when notifying vehicle owners of recalls. Specifically, the proposal will require carmakers to notify vehicle owners electronically (i.e., via email), as well as via First Class mail, about recalls. Carmakers would also be required to send follow-up recall notices if an inadequate number of motor vehicles or replacement equipment has “returned for remedy.”
The NHTSA is currently seeking public comment on this ANPRM.
How to Check for Vehicle Recalls
The NHTSA has an online tool that allows vehicle owners to check for open recalls impacting their vehicle(s) by the vehicle identification number (VIN). This free tool includes recall information dating back 15 years for newer and older vehicles.
Contact Littleton & Englewood Attorney D.J. Banovitz
If you have been hurt in a traffic accident, contact Littleton & Englewood Attorney D.J. Banovitz for honest answers about your options for compensation and justice.
Call (303) 300-5060 or send our firm an email via the contact form on this page to discuss your potential case and best options for proceeding.
From offices based in Englewood, Colorado, Attorney D.J. Banovitz provides the highest quality representation to injured people throughout Arapahoe County, Denver County, Douglas County and the state of Colorado.