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What are your rights when there is a vehicle recall or defects?

In today's society, it is very common to own a motor vehicle if not more than one. These are very reliable and useful consumer products, providing an effective form of transportation. Although there are many benefits of owning a vehicle, some consumers experience a vehicle that is not working right. While this could be due to normal wear and tear, it could also be due to defective or recalled parts. When a vehicle suddenly does not work right, this can be an inconvenience. However, when a vehicle malfunctions while a consumer is operating it, this can be a dangerous and risky situation.

What are your rights when there is a vehicle recall or defects? Consumers have rights when they are harmed in an accident caused by a vehicle that is defective or has a recalled part. Because there are federal motor vehicle safety standards when it comes to performance requirements of vehicles and their components, when a vehicle falls below this standard, a recall is likely issued. Whether it is a safety component, such as an air bag or seat belt, or a major part, such as brakes or steering, it is important that consumers are put on notice when vehicle equipment does not comply with current safety standards.

When there is a vehicle recall, manufacturers have three options to cure this defect. First, they could repair the vehicle. Second, they could decide to replace the vehicle with an identical or similar vehicle. Finally, a manufacturer could refund the consumer the full purchase price.

While consumers have the right to cure defects that they know of or are put on notice by a recall, they also have the right to file a products liability claim for any injuries and losses suffered in an accident caused by a defect. This legal action does not only help with the collection of compensation but also assists with holding a negligent manufacturer accountable.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Vehicle Recalls and Defects," accessed August 5, 2017

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