Mercedes-Benz is under federal investigation over allegations that it is not following federal recall standards. According to a CarComplaints.com report, the case involves more than 1.4 million vehicles recalled for safety defects. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is alleging that Mercedes failed to meet federal recall standards and left safety regulators with too many unanswered questions.
Alleged Violations of Several Standards
NHTSA sent the German automaker a list of problems about recalls issued in 2017 alleging they failed to notify car owners about safety recalls within the required 60-day time period. In May 2018, the government asked Mercedes to provide an explanation for why it was not meeting standards and how it would go about fixing the deficiencies. The automaker allegedly responded with short statements concerning each violation including many responses that said: “Redacted version of the interim letter was not posted. Redacted version now updated to portal.”
The federal agency alleged that Mercedes omitted important information about the safety problems that originally caused the recalls and sometimes left out important information about their recall plans. The automaker allegedly provided these vital details only after the recalls were set in motion such as estimated number of vehicles affected by the recall and important info about the expected timing for its recall campaigns.
In addition, federal officials say Mercedes failed to mail owner notifications in a timely manner and caused multiple disruptions to the federal “VIN Lookup” tool, a feature that vehicle owners rely on to view critical safety recall information about their cars.
Why the Violations Are Unacceptable
If these allegations about Mercedes are in fact true, they are unacceptable violations of federal standards. Federal regulations with regard to vehicle safety recalls exist for a very good reason – to protect consumers from dangerous vehicle defects. The laws require automakers to promptly recall safety defects to NHTSA, issue a timely recall and also promptly offer free repairs to consumers for the problems.
When automakers fail to do that, consumers are put at risk. If you have been injured as the result of a vehicle defect because of the automakers negligence and failure to warn in a timely manner, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries, damages and losses you have sustained as a result. Contact an experienced auto defect lawyer who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and hold the at-fault automaker accountable.