Why You Need to Pay Attention to Auto Recalls

Auto recalls are a fairly regular occurrence. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an auto recall is issued on an almost daily basis. Unfortunately, many drivers continue to ignore auto recalls and avoid getting the necessary repairs. As this article points out, 2.7 million used vehicles for sale in 2011 were involved in safety recalls, with the auto defects never fixed. It is important that drivers heed the warnings of an auto recall and take the prescribed action since driving with a defective vehicle is dangerous, not just to the driver and his or her passengers, but to other motorists and future owners of the vehicle as well.

While many auto recalls may seem relatively minor, in some situations the vehicle defect can turn out to be deadly. For instance, General Motors has recently come under fire for its recent recall of more than 6 million vehicles, including 2.6 million small cars that were recalled due to an ignition switch defect that has been linked to 13 deaths.

Auto recalls can be initiated by the vehicle manufacturer or prompted by federal investigators and regulators. If a safety defect is discovered, the auto maker is required to notify the NHTSA, as well as vehicle owners, dealers, and distributors. The manufacturer is also required to fix the vehicle defect at no cost to the owner.

In the case of the GM recalls, however, acting NHTSA chief David Friedman has testified that GM failed to provide information connecting defective ignition switches to the non-deployment of air bags to the NHTSA until recently. As a result, several lawmakers are calling on federal regulators to enact laws that would require better communication between auto makers and the government.

Car owners can check the recall status of their vehicle by visiting the Carfax website and entering the vehicle VIN number. Recall status can also be checked at, which allows consumers to search certain vehicle makes and models.

Common auto defects include:

  • Automobile rollovers
  • Braking system defects
  • Unintended acceleration
  • Defective tires and blowouts
  • Roof collapse
  • Seat back defects
  • Glass breakage
  • Airbag defects
  • Seatbelt defects
  • Door latch defects
  • Gasoline fires

Contact an Auto Defect Lawyer

If you were injured as a result of an auto defect or would like more information regarding auto recalls, contact the Chicago product liability attorneys at Cogan & Power at (312) 477-2500 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible product liability claim. If you cannot come to our offices in downtown Chicago, we will come to you.  And because we take cases on a contingency basis, you will not pay any fee unless we get you compensation.