Vehicle accidents occur in a wide variety of ways, most commonly due to the negligent actions of other drivers. However, there are times when vehicle accidents in New Mexico occur as a result of a defective vehicle or vehicle part.
Do you know what to do if you are involved in an accident as a result of a recalled vehicle? Here, we want to review these potentially complex claims and examine whether or not you will be able to recover compensation for your losses.
Why Are Vehicles Recalled?
A vehicle recall seems like it should be a very big deal. In some cases, vehicle recalls are an incredibly big deal because they involve major safety issues. However, what is much more common is that a vehicle is recalled so that the manufacturer can replace a single part that may be defective that does not necessarily pose a major threat to drivers.
Typically, a vehicle recall involves a few steps:
- The manufacturer or a government agency notices a defect.
- There is an investigation that determines whether or not the vehicle meets safety standards.
- The company or government agency publicly announces the recall and notifies all vehicle owners.
- The company repairs or replaces the defective part or reimburses the owner for the cost of the vehicle.
Recalls can occur due to a wide variety of product defects. If we examine information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), we can see that some of the most common defective parts include tires, seatbelts, breaking or accelerating systems, lights, suspension, airbags, etc.
What if an Accident Happens?
Accidents involving recalled vehicles do occur, though determining liability in the aftermath of these incidents can be challenging. Just because a vehicle is under some type of recall does not necessarily mean that the recalled issue was what caused the accident. If the accident occurred for some other type of reason, the vehicle company or manufacturer would not hold any liability for the incident.
If the defect for which the vehicle has been recalled is the cause of the accident, liability may fall to the company or manufacturer. However, if the vehicle owner has received notice of a recall and chosen not to get the vehicle repaired or replaced according to the recall instructions, then the company or manufacturer will likely not be held liable for the accident.
When a recall notice is issued, the notice specifically describes the steps that owners need to take in order to ensure their safety. If the vehicle should not be driven due to a safety concern, the recall notice will say that. If an owner continues to drive the vehicle after the fact and does not fix the defect according to the instructions, this is a problem for the vehicle owner, not the company or manufacturer.
Work With a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or somebody you love has been injured due to a defective vehicle or vehicle part, it is important to speak to a product liability attorney as soon as possible. Regardless of whether or not your car was under a recall order, you need to let your Albuquerque personal injury attorney investigate the situation and determine whether or not you are entitled to compensation for your losses.