Receiving a recall notice about your car can be scary, and it can be difficult to know if you need to drop everything you are doing to have the repair or replacement mentioned in the safety recall letter you received. In some cases, you might already have known about the product defect because of an accident or injury you sustained as a result of the safety issue. In other cases, you might not have received a recall notice, but you might have suffered an injury that you suspect resulted from a defect in your vehicle or one of its components. Under any of these circumstances, you could be eligible to file a product liability lawsuit against the designer, manufacturer, or retailer of the automobile. There are some important things you should know about auto recalls, and our Santa Fe product defect lawyers can help.
Understand the Implications of the Recall
It is important to read a vehicle recall notice you receive carefully and to understand if you need to take immediate action. Some defects do not pose serious injury risks, while others can be extremely dangerous.
Follow the Instructions on the Recall Notice
You will need to follow the instructions on the recall notice, which usually involves contacting a local dealer to have a repair or replacement done for the defective part.
Learn More About Personal Injury Claims and Auto Recalls
Many people who receive recall notices about their vehicles assume that they may be eligible to file a claim against the automaker or another party responsible for the defect. It is important to understand that an injury is a necessary component of any product defect claim. To be clear, in order to be eligible to file a lawsuit, you must have suffered an injury due to the defect. Merely owning a vehicle with a defective part is not sufficient for filing an injury lawsuit.
Know that You May be Able to File a Claim Even if a Recall Has Not Yet Occurred
While a recall notice for your car alone is not enough to file a claim, you should know that many consumers sustain injuries due to auto defects before recall notices are ever sent out. Accordingly, if you got hurt while using your vehicle and suspect that an auto defect could be the cause, you should seek advice from a product defect lawyer in Santa Fe about your case. You do not need to have a recall notice for your vehicle to be eligible to file a product liability lawsuit.
You Can Check for Defects Before a Recall Notice May be Sent Out
Even if you have not yet received a recall notice but have concerns about your vehicle, you can check for recalls through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). You will need to enter your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN), and the NHTSA can inform you if your vehicle is subject to any known recalls. The search engine provides details for any recalls that have been unrepaired on a vehicle during the last 15 years.
Contact a Santa Fe Personal Injury Attorney
If you have questions about an auto recall or your ability to file a claim, you should seek advice from one of the experienced Santa Fe product defect attorneys at our firm. Contact Slate Stern Law for more information.