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NHTSA Will Require Companies to Implement VIN Recall Search Tools

Automotive recalls can happen for a multitude of reasons. In some cases, they may be initiated right away to correct severe safety design defects, and in others, manufacturers may only issue a recall after receiving word of a subtle problem, many of which are only detectable years after the vehicle rolls off the lot. In the past, delayed recalls and a lack of communication between companies and customers made this process arduous, and left thousands of people driving unsafe vehicles. In the present day, we are lucky to live in a country with access to up to the second information, and this atmosphere of ubiquitous technology is being harnessed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make the recall process more efficient.

In a press conference delivered today in Washington, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s NHTSA announced a new plan to require automobile and motorcycle manufacturers to maintain their own free online systems, which will make recall information searchable by Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Starting next year, the agency will ensure that these online tools are in place and being updated once a week at minimum. “Safety is our highest priority, and an informed consumer is one of our strongest allies in that effort,” Said the U.S. Transportation Secretary during his speech. “Owners and potential buyers alike will soon be able to identify whether a safety recall for their specific vehicle is incomplete, using our free online search at SaferCar.gov.” This announcement piggybacks on other recent NHTSA efforts to utilize technology in a way that keeps consumers safe and informed, such as the NCAP 5-Star Rating System, and the SaferCar mobile application. (NHTSA)

With potentially dangerous design defects and automotive safety issues, time is of the essence, and every tool that we can give to drivers has the potential to save thousands of lives by detecting and addressing problems quicker. When automobiles are mass-produced, it is impossible to detect every manufacturing or design fault for every make and model. However, as consumers, we have the right to expect that a company will report potential problems in good faith when they are detected. Companies that ignore warning signs and avoid recalling dangerous products put their consumers and everyone around them in danger, and this can be grounds for a wrongful injury or death lawsuit.

Our lawyers have recovered more than $520 million in compensation for clients who have been wrongfully injured. We have the resources and experience to take on big auto-manufacturers to help you recover fair compensation for the harms caused to you. If you or someone you know has been injured by a negligent company or individual, call us today to see what we can do for you.