New vehicles cannot enter the consumer market until they pass a series of safety tests. Despite these evaluations, vehicle recalls are still common. In fact, in 2013 alone, manufacturers recalled an estimated 22 million vehicles, according to Forbes.

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If you learn that your vehicle has been recalled, then it is critical that you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you were injured due to the defect, then you may be entitled to compensation.

An Albuquerque injury attorney from the Law Office of Brian K. Branch can evaluate your crash to determine if filing a lawsuit would be in your best interests. Call our office today at 505-764-9710 to learn more.

Until then, read on for the answers to three auto recall FAQs:

  1. What is a vehicle recall?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, recalls occur when automobile parts have possible or obvious defects. Manufacturers may also recall vehicles if they do not comply with the government’s safety standards. The manufacturer may issue a national or even a global recall.

In most cases, manufacturers recall vehicles independently. Occasionally, an industry regulator, such as the FDA or the NHTSA, will enforce a recall.

The manufacturer is responsible for notifying every vehicle purchaser about the defect. The company must also fix the problem – free of charge – for the customers, provided that the vehicle is younger than 10 years old.

  1. What type of issues warrant a recall?

Vehicles contain an array of complex parts. If any of these parts contains a defect that makes the car unsafe to use, then the manufacturer must issue a recall.

A recall will not happen for isolated issues or problems related to age, but it is necessary if the defect is widespread and endangers consumers. Recalls can occur for any defective part, but common examples include:

  • Leaky fuel pipes;
  • Malfunctioning transmissions;
  • Faulty steering systems;
  • Unsafe airbags;
  • And seat and seatbelt issues.
  1. What must consumers do during a vehicle recall?

If a manufacturer or regulatory agency recalls your vehicle, then you should resolve the issue as soon as possible. If a recall happens, then there is an element of risk, so postponing the repairs can be dangerous to you, your family and other road users.

Follow the recall guidelines from the manufacturer. If you already spent money to fix it, then the manufacturer may refund you for the repair costs.

Typically, manufacturers will replace the part, repair the problem or refund the consumer. This will depend on the severity of the defect and how easy it is to fix. In some cases, the vehicle requires replacement. Contact the manufacturer to find out exactly what to do.

If you were injured due to a vehicle defect or another driver’s malfunctioning car or truck, then you may be able to recover health-care expenses, lost wages and other damages in a civil lawsuit. If the incident happened in New Mexico, then contact an Albuquerque car accident lawyer from the Law Office of Brian K. Branch. Call 505-764-9710 to schedule a consultation.