Track Car Recalls with New SaferCar App
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that about a quarter of vehicles have an unrepaired recall, and last year there were 53 million recalls on vehicles and vehicle-related equipment. Every day, hundreds of thousands of automobiles with recalled parts get on the road, putting the drivers and passengers of those vehicles and other motorists at risk. In response to this major problem, the NHTSA has launched a new app intended to keep drivers informed of car recalls or recalls related to their vehicles. Called SaferCar, the new app is free on both the Apple Store and Google Play Store.
SaferCar lets users know about any car recalls, investigations, and/or complaints for any vehicles or items that consumers put on their list. When an item is recalled, the app posts a summary of the recall, the risk, and options for solving the problem.
How Do I Use It?
Once the app has been downloaded, users should firstly add all of their vehicles and any related items that they can think of to their list. The app includes automobiles and equipment scaling back to 1949, so most cars, trailers, and motorbikes should be easy to find. It also includes auto-related items such as car-seats, trailer hitches, and jack stands. If any of the items the user has entered have been recalled, the app will let them know. Additionally, if one of the items is recalled in the future, the app will send the user a notification letting them know.
The app can also be helpful for when deciding to buy vehicles or equipment. You can check on the app for any car recalls before deciding to make a purchase. This can be especially helpful when buying secondhand; there may be certain limitations in pursuing a defective product claim on a secondhand item. Users can search up the items they’re thinking of buying to make sure that no recalls have been issued for it. Likewise, if users are planning to repair or modify their vehicle themselves, they can search up axle systems, fans, brakes, and other parts and pieces to ensure that they have not been recalled before purchasing.
In addition to notifying users of car recalls and other defective products, the app can also notify users of any nearby dealerships doing free repairs on your recalled item. Generally, repair for car recalls is free, but not all dealers repair recalled products. Users can use the app to search for their recall, and then the app will show them a nearby shop or dealership doing free repairs. Once a user has gotten the repair done, they can check off the recalled item in the app as “resolved.”
Common Questions about Car Recalls
Millions of cars are recalled every year, for problems ranging from hazardous leaks to software issues and anything in between. Some recalls are smaller, while others include thousands and even millions of automobiles. They can also vary in urgency; some car recalls, such as the infamous Takata airbag recall, came with a “Do Not Drive” warning, while with other more minor issues, the vehicle may still be safe to drive even before being fixed.
The NHTSA states that car recalls are necessary when a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment does not comply with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, an when the defect can pose a risk to motor vehicle safety. Because not all defects are dangerous, repair may not always be free for issues involving non-essential issues such as a defective air conditioning system or excessive oil consumption. There may also be limitations to your ability to get your automobile repaired based on the age of the vehicle; for free repair, the car must not be more than 15 years old at the time the flaw is determined. That said, if you pay for necessary safety repairs before a recall is initiated, you may be entitled to compensation depending on certain conditions.
How Do I Report Car Recalls to the NHTSA?
If you think that your vehicle or any related equipment may have a safety defect, it is imperative to report it to the NHTSA to ensure you can fix the problem and make the roads safer for yourself and other drivers.
You can report safety issues online or over the phone. The website to report automobile defects is www.nhtsa.gov. Go to the Defects and Recalls section of the home page, then click “file a complaint.” There, you can submit a complaint to be evaluated by their technical staff. To report an issue over the phone, you must contact the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Vehicle Safety Hotline, run by the NHTSA. Call them at 888-327-4236, or reach them toll-free at 800-424-9393.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a recalled or defective product, contact our Product Liability Attorneys today. Our legal team has been successfully representing people injured by defective products and we can fight for you too. Call us at 713-224-9000, or fill out our online contact form for a free, no-obligation case consultation.