Vehicle Safety Recall Notices Make a Difference in a Car Accident Lawsuit

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As more and more people use the Internet to pay bills and for personal communication, the percentage of postal mail that recipients classify as junk has increased.  Clipping coupons from a circular might be more satisfying than scanning a code from your phone, but besides that, many people do not even open most of the mail they receive. 

Vehicle manufacturers still send vehicle safety recall notices through the postal service, which means that many consumers ignore these notices. Even when they do open them, the onus is on the vehicle owner to have the car inspected, and many drivers do not take action.  The next time you receive such a notice, though, do not ignore it. The lowly vehicle safety recall notice, that easily ignored piece of junk mail, could make a big difference in a car accident lawsuit. It’s a detail you need to share with your St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer


What Is a Vehicle Safety Recall Notice?

A vehicle safety recall notice is a letter sent to all people known to own a certain make of car produced in a certain model year.  Car manufacturers send these notices when they discover, through the records of cars brought to their dealerships for repairs, that multiple cars in that model year have a faulty part.  For example, in 1980, Ford recalled several models of car when they discovered that the automatic transmission could slip from park to reverse by itself; the defect caused 6,000 accidents.  More recently, in 2016, Nissan recalled more than three million vehicles after malfunctioning airbag sensors caused the car’s airbags to inflate at inappropriate times.

Most of the vehicle safety recall notices you receive in the mail are for defects that are not as dangerous as these, but you still should not ignore them.  When you receive a vehicle safety recall notice in the mail, you should bring the notice to your nearest car dealership and have them check the part that has malfunctioned in cars similar to yours.  Usually, the car dealership will not charge you for this maintenance on your car. If the inspection reveals that your car has a faulty part, the dealership will replace the part free of charge.


Vehicle Safety Recall Notices and the Law

The car manufacturer has a legal duty to notify the owners of a given model of car that a certain part in the car may be defective and to replace faulty parts when consumers bring their cars to the dealership in response to the notice.  Once the manufacturer has sent the notice, it is the car owner’s responsibility to have the part checked. If a car subject to a vehicle safety recall is involved in an accident and one driver in the accident sues the other, failing to respond to the recall notice can hurt the case of the owner of the car with the recalled part, whether that owner is a plaintiff in the lawsuit or a defendant.


Contact Walton Telken Injury Attorneys About Car Accident Cases

Contact Walton Telken Injury Attorneys in the Kirkwood, Missouri area for a legal consultation if you have been injured in a car accident.

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