Motor vehicle safety recalls are a typical consumer product defect issue. A recall may happen when there is a defect in a vehicle or vehicle part. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the vehicle manufacturer may start a recall.
Because a recall may happen at any time, it is vital to understand the recall procedure. It is also critical to know the responsibilities of those involved.
The Manufacturer Duties
No matter which entity starts the recall, the manufacturer has the following duties.
File a Public Report
The vehicle manufacturer must file a public report describing the following:
- The safety-related defect or noncompliance with a federal motor vehicle safety standard
- The involved vehicle/equipment population
- The major events that resulted in the recall determination
- A description of the remedy
- A schedule for the recall
Notify the Purchaser
Vehicle manufacturers, including motorcycle manufacturers, must attempt to notify owners of the recall. The notification process differs for vehicle and equipment recalls.
The manufacturer will merge its sales records with state vehicle registration data for a vehicle recall.
State registration records may not exist for an equipment recall. In that case, the manufacturer must notify their distributors. The manufacturer must also notify known purchasers of the recalled equipment.
Fix the Defect
The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 and other laws require the manufacturer to fix the defect at no cost to you. The manufacturer must fix the defect even if it did notify you of the recall.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The NHTSA monitors the recall to ensure the manufacturer complies with the law.
The NHTSA also releases monthly lists of motor vehicle safety recalls to alert the public of the recall. These lists identify the make and model of the vehicle or equipment involved. The lists also include a brief description of the safety problem.
The NHTSA encourages you to take action. But, because the recall may include only certain makes and models, the agency recommends that you not contact your dealer right away. Instead, you should wait until the manufacturer notifies you of the defect. Also, the manufacturer may not have the parts in stock at the time to fix the defect.
Getting Recall Information & Reporting Safety Problems
You can get recall information by calling the NHTSA's Auto Safety Hotline, 1-888-327-4236. You can also find recall information on the NHTSA's website. Information you can get includes up-to-the-minute information on safety recall campaigns. You can also get the recall history on a make and model of car, truck, motorcycle, or child safety seat.
You can also report vehicle or equipment safety concerns using the NHTSA's Auto Safety Hotline.
Get Legal Help with Your Motorcycle Defect or Recall Claim Today
Is your motorcycle manufacturer not complying with defect and recall laws? Or does your motorcycle have a defect not subject to a recall? You have options and possible remedies available. Contact a car accident attorney if you have motorcycle defect or recall questions.