In recent years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has taken heat for failing to fully pursue automakers for vehicle defects. High-profile examples include its failure to identify a deadly ignition switch defect in General Motors vehicles, and its failure to address an air bag defect affecting millions of vehicles across the United States.
Upon assuming his role as NHTSA’s new administrator on December 22, 2014, Dr. Mark Rosekind acknowledged that changes needed to be made and he promised improvements to come. In particular, he pledged to dedicate the resources necessary to crack down on dangerous vehicle defects.
Improving the System to Identify More Vehicle Defects
Dr. Rosekind intends to seek additional funding to bolster the NHTSA’s defect-spotting efforts. With planned improvements to both staffing numbers and the agency’s technology systems, Dr. Rosekind believes the NHTSA can reach a position where vehicle defects can be completely addressed and this unpleasant situation can be put behind the company.
These improvements would allow the NHTSA to proactively force recalls rather than respond to major problems after the fact, which is is Dr. Rosekind’s goal. Auto Blog quoted the new Administrator as saying, “I think we could actually see an increase in the number of recalls…I’d rather have people be preemptive than waiting too long and making a mistake, because you can’t save those lives after they’re gone.”
The Risks of Vehicle Defects
This quote points to the obvious risks inherent in a system that responds to problems rather than seeking to prevent them in the first place. Once a defective vehicle hits the road, there is no telling the injuries and damages it might cause. When you multiply this scenario by the millions of vehicles that get sold in the United States every year, the likelihood of serious accidents and injuries rises exponentially.
There is no shortage in the variety of types of vehicle defects. Examples of common types of defects include:
- Defective airbags
- Defective brakes
- Defective fuel and accelerator systems
- Defective ignition switches
- Defective seatbelts
- Defective tires
What to do if the Manufacturer Issues a Recall for Your Vehicle
If a manufacturer issues a safety recall for a vehicle that you purchased from a dealership, you should receive a notice in the mail. However, you can also search for vehicle recalls on the NHTSA’s website.
Once you learn of a safety recall, you should take your vehicle to the dealer and have the issue corrected. This can be an inconvenience, but the safety improvements for you, your family, and the other drivers on the road will be well worth the investment.
Contact Carey, Danis & Lowe
If you have been injured in an auto accident and believe a defective vehicle might be to blame, you should speak with an experienced attorney about your case. The lawyers at Carey, Danis & Lowe represent injury victims in Missouri and Illinois. You can contact the firm online or call (314) 725-7700 to schedule a free initial consultation.