Under a new federal rule, major automakers are required to make their recall information more accessible online. According to a New York Times news report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a final rule, which will require all major automakers and motorcycle manufacturers to give free access on their web sites to information about recalls of specific vehicles that consumers can find by typing in the VIN or vehicle identification number.
Some vehicle manufacturers already have these types of tools on their web sites. However, this rule mandates all automakers to comply by August 14, 2014. In addition, the rule requires that manufacturers update the information at least once every week and link the information to NHTSA’s web site so that consumers can alternatively find it at safercar.gov.
Recalled Vehicles Not Getting Repaired
Currently when car owners visit the safety agency’s site to check recalls, they are able to search by vehicle, make and model year to learn whether a particular model is subject to a recall. Under the new rule, consumers can see if their vehicle or the one they are thinking of purchasing has or is being recalled and also whether the defects that led to the recall have been fixed.
This federal rule has been put in place to encourage more manufacturers to fix recalled cars. According to NHTSA, currently, only about 70 percent of recalled cars are being fixed. Used car buyers especially don’t know about the vehicles and the recalled cars often do not get fixed leaving consumers exposed to danger of safety defects and potential crashes.
The Danger of Recalled Vehicles
Every year, a number of vehicles are recalled for several serious safety defects such as airbag defects, seatbelt issues, tire defects and seatback problems – just to mention a few. However, often, consumers don’t even know about these recalls. Vehicles go unrepaired and it is the consumer who pays the ultimate price. Defective autos can cause crashes that could result in serious injuries or even fatalities.
If you are thinking about buying a vehicle, it would be in your best interest to visit the manufacturer’s site or NHTSA’s web site to ensure that the make and model you are thinking about purchasing has been the subject of a safety recall. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a defective auto, please preserve the vehicle and contact an experienced auto product liability attorney to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.