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NHTSA Launches First Safety Campaign Targeting Recalled Vehicles

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently launched its first public safety campaign regarding recalled vehicles. The campaign highlights the recent uptick in auto recalls as well as the risks that defective vehicles pose on U.S. roadways.

As we have previously discussed, auto recalls have surged in recent years. In 2014, there were 803 recalls involving more than 50 million vehicles. The record year for recalls included two of the largest vehicle recalls in history. The General Motor’s ignition switch and Takata airbag recalls are now linked to almost 100 deaths and many more injuries. In 2015, more than 51 million vehicles were recalled in nearly 900 campaigns.

The spike in recalled vehicles is particularly concerning because many are not fixed right away. Every year, approximately 25 percent of recalled vehicles are left unrepaired. In some cases, the needed parts may not be available; in others, owners never receive the recall notice. Unrepaired cars and trucks pose serious risks for owners of the defective vehicles as well as everyone who shares the road with them.

The goal of NHTSA’s campaign is to boost recall repair rates through consumer awareness. “Recalls are a serious safety issue that should be promptly addressed,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “An informed consumer is one of our strongest allies in ensuring recalled vehicles are repaired. Do not wait to act if your car is under recall and the parts are available.”

As detailed in a NHTSA press statement, the agency urges consumers to check their vehicle identification number (VIN) at least twice a year using NHTSA’s free VIN look up tool. To remember to check, NHTSA suggests timing it with day light savings – every November when setting clocks back and every March when setting clocks forward. If there is an open recall, the safety agency advises owners to contact their local dealer to schedule an appointment and bring their vehicle in for repair as soon as possible.

If you or someone you care about has suffered serious harm due to a defective motor vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego product liability lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.