As consumers, we expect that the car we buy or lease will come off of the assembly line in perfect condition, without malfunction. Unfortunately, motor vehicle manufacturers recall vehicles all of the time because of safety defects. Suspecting that the new car you just bought has a latent defect as you drive off of the lot is unimaginable.
Vehicle owners and vehicle manufacturers, for that matter, do not become aware of a problem until a person is in an accident or suffers an injury when the car does not operate correctly. No one knew that Takata airbags were defective until people started dying in minor car accidents or getting maimed by shrapnel blasted out of a steering wheel from a defective airbag. Similarly, no one knew that the Ford Pinto might explode in a rear-end car crash until motorists died in fiery explosions.
Not all defects result in catastrophic injuries or death, but they can surface in subtle ways. For instance, one recent recall involved a steering problem. The company recalled their vehicles because a manufacturing defect caused the power steering to cut out. The driver could steer the car because the tires did not lock up. Notwithstanding, turning a vehicle without power assistance is extremely difficult and is not responsive. In this particular recall, the power steering re-engaged once the driver restarted the car. So, the problem seems like a freak occurrence.
Freak occurrences are cause for concern. If this happens to you, call a mechanic, and have the person examine the car thoroughly. Going to an independent technician rather than the dealership might be advisable so that you can obtain an unbiased opinion. You can also check to see if your vehicle is the subject of a recall campaign. Recall information can be found on your vehicle manufacturer’s website or inputting your VIN into the NHTSA database and have the dealership repair the problem with no cost to you. Additionally, you should contact a local auto recall products liability attorney to help you with the process, especially if you were hurt as a result of the suspected defect.
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