Dept. of Transportation Launches New Vehicle Recall Campaign to Promote Driver Safety in Massachusetts and Elsewhere

Vehicle recalls are becoming more common, especially after the high-profile recall case against Volkswagen involving the company’s false and misleading representations regarding the fuel-saving capacity of its cars. Airbag maker Takata Corporation also recently found itself in hot water when it had to initiate a massive recall of cars containing its defective airbag devices. In 2015, a total of 973 recalls were initiated regarding dangerous child safety seats, tires, vehicles, and components, encompassing 87.5 million different products.

A vehicle recall may give rise to a product liability action. If a manufacturer’s product is unreasonably dangerous or suffers from a defect that rendered the product unreasonably dangerous during the manufacturing process, the manufacturer may be held liable for damages and injuries that occur as a result of the dangerous design or defect.

Now, the federal government is taking action to help the public stay on top of recalls as they happen and to promote awareness about the dangers associated with vehicle recalls. The U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has started a campaign that draws consumers’ attention to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall activities. It also highlights other government bodies that are involved with ensuring vehicle safety. The campaign is referred to as the Safe Cars Save Lives campaign.

According to the DOT, one-quarter of the vehicles recalled each year are not brought in for repairs, placing the vehicles’ owners and passengers in severe danger. “Recalls are a serious safety issue that should be promptly addressed,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a press release regarding the new campaign. “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.”

The campaign suggests specific actions that vehicle owners should take to ensure the safety of their vehicles. For example, consumers are urged to input their vehicle identification numbers (VIN) two times each year to see whether the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) has initiated a recall affecting the vehicle. The NHTSA maintains a free tool that consumers can use to look up their VIN numbers. To help consumers remember to make the biannual check, the campaign suggests checking the VIN number on the days that clocks are changed for daylight savings time, which fall in November and March.

The campaign also includes a host of safety videos that provide specific instructions on how consumers can ensure their vehicles’ safety and how to stay on top of the latest recall information. They’ve also launched a number of initiatives to help professionals in the automotive industry make recall efforts more effective.

If you or someone you love has been injured as the result of a defective motor vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. At the Law Offices of John S. Moffa, our dedicated personal injury and car accident lawyers are ready to help you seek the compensation that you deserve. Call us at 1-800-446-4485 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

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