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What is an auto recall and why does it happen?

Auto recalls are quite common these days, even as technology continues to improve. There are simply some issues that cannot be fixed, or occur after manufacturing,. Auto defects can cause serious injury, or even death if not addressed by the owner as soon as a recall notice is received. So, what is an auto recall and why does it happen?

Minimum performance requirements are set forth by the federal motor vehicle safety standards for parts of a vehicle that affect its safe operation. These parts include brakes tires, air bags and seat belts. The standards set forth are applicable on every single vehicle manufactured or imported to the United States for sale and certified to be used on public roads and highways.

Auto recalls are issued when the standards mentioned above are not met. The manufacturer has three opportunities to correct the defect found in the vehicle, according to law. The three options include repairing the vehicle, replacing the vehicle with a similar one or refunding the purchase price of the vehicle in full to the consumer. The purchase price in full will include a reasonable reduction for depreciation.

Recalls can also be issued for vehicle that do not make emissions standards. These standards are intended to keep the air and environment as clean as possible. Vehicles must be designed and manufactured to meet emissions standards throughout the life of the vehicle. If vehicles fail to meet the standards outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency, manufacturers can be required to recall the vehicles until they are fixed. The EPA receives permission to enforce the standards from the Clean Air Act.

Consumers have rights when it comes to auto recalls and defects. Should your vehicle be involved in a recall, you are not required to pay for the repairs necessary to satisfy the recall.

Source: FindLaw, "Vehicle Recalls and Defects," accessed March 27, 2017

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