In Los Angeles alone, there were more than 7 million vehicles on the road in 2015. Los Angeles isn’t well known for its decent public transportation, which means most people drive their cars to get to and from work. In 2014, LA drivers spent 90 hours a year in traffic as well—almost four days’ worth. Given that Angelinos spend such an enormous amount of time in their cars, their vehicles must meet adequate safety criteria.
Auto manufacturers are held to high standards when it comes to producing cars. Whenever a safety hazard is detected in a line of vehicles, the auto company will typically recall the vehicles in order to fix the problem and keep the highways safe. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards ensure minimum standards of performance for vehicle parts affecting safe operation and protection of drivers and passengers (such as brakes, airbags, and safety belts).
What Happens If a Vehicle Isn’t Recalled?
If an automobile is defective and it isn’t recalled, the mechanical problem could cause serious injury or even death to everyone owning the faulty automobile. Take GM, for example. In 2014, it recalled almost 800,000 cars because of a faulty ignition switch. This defect could shut off the engine while the driver was moving and could therefore prevent airbags from inflating. This mechanical problem led to the deaths of 124 GM drivers before the car was ever recalled. Imagine the potential damage that could have occurred if the recall order had never been given. GM was sued by many individuals affected by the faulty switch because the company knew 10 years before the recall that there was a potentially deadly problem with the vehicles.
How Do I Know If My Vehicle Has Been Recalled?
Usually, the manufacturer will send a letter, first-class, to all registered owners and purchasers of any vehicles with a problem. In the letter, the manufacturer will explain what the discovered safety hazard is. If your car has been recalled, the manufacturer will repair or replace the vehicle or issue you a refund.
If you’ve been injured as a result of a defective automobile, or you know someone who has, contact one of our Los Angeles product liability attorneys for a free consultation.