Staying safe on Texas streets and highways is a priority for most families. Unfortunately, some drivers may be at risk on the road without even knowing it. Many vehicles have outstanding recalls that could significantly affect the safety of these cars and trucks during normal operation. Some used car operations have even sold vehicles that were subject to recall without performing these necessary repairs. This can result in serious injuries to drivers and passengers on the road. A Houston auto injury attorney can provide the necessary support for those who have been involved in accidents because of defects in vehicle design or manufacture.
Risks of Unanswered Safety Recalls
While most safety recalls are relatively minor, some of the defects involved could pose significant dangers to drivers and passengers. Some of the most significant auto recalls include the following:
- The 1978 recall of the Ford Pinto is still remembered in the auto industry as one of the most hazardous of its kind. The position of the fuel tank in the rear of the car allowed gasoline to leak and catch fire when the vehicle was struck from behind.
- The recall of Bridgestone-Firestone tires in 2000 had a significant negative effect not only on the tire manufacturer but also on the reputation of Ford Motor Company products as well. The Ford Explorer, which was equipped with these tires, had an unusually high rate of blowouts while traveling at speed. Experts estimated that at least 250 deaths and more than 3,000 serious injuries resulted from the defects in these tires.
- In 2010, Toyota Motor Corporation recalled millions of vehicles because of concerns that the accelerator pedal could become stuck in the depressed position, causing unwanted acceleration and an added potential for accidents. Approximately 37 deaths were attributed to this serious problem with nearly every vehicle model in the Toyota lineup.
These defects and recalls represent only a few of the many vehicle recalls initiated by automakers or by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While dealers of new cars are required by law to deal with recalls before selling these cars and trucks, the same rules do not appeal to used car dealerships. As a result, some consumers may be buying trouble from the second they drive off the lot.
Responsibility for Addressing Recalls
Determining if your car, truck or SUV has been named in a recall action is a relatively simple process. Consumers can go to this website to check on the status of their personal vehicles. If a recall is in place for the car, truck or SUV, it should then be taken to a local dealership that can perform the necessary repairs. In some cases, it may be necessary to schedule an appointment for recall work days or weeks in advance; this is especially true for defects that are not considered to present serious risks for drivers. These recall repairs are performed free of charge for vehicle owners and should be completed as quickly as possible to ensure that cars and trucks operate properly and deliver a safe ride on Texas roadways.
If you have been involved in an accident that may be attributable to defects in your vehicle’s manufacture or design, consulting with a team of qualified Houston car crash attorneys can often provide the help needed to prove your case to insurance adjusters or in a court of law. Working with established Houston auto accident compensation specialists can provide you with assertive representation that can significantly affect the outcome of your case. These dedicated legal professionals will look at all aspects of your accident to determine if faulty workmanship or defective design could have been responsible, allowing you to enjoy the highest possible settlement for your injuries and damages in the Texas legal system.