Despite efforts automobile manufacturers and government agencies' efforts to make to try to make car owners aware of recalls on their vehicles, the word doesn't reach everyone.
Even when it does, not all motorists take their cars in to have them serviced as recommended. In fact, a 2015 National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) study showed that only 70 percent of all vehicles that end being recalled have these critical repairs performed on them.
No laws on the books require car manufacturers to notify owners of recalls. Instead, it's a voluntary process. Even still, most everyone sees it as a duty to the customer to let them know about them.
The onus, however, ultimately falls on the car's owner to check consumer advisory notices regularly to see if their car has been recalled for repairs. Reasons why consumers fail to make necessary repairs when their calls are recalled made vary. Many car owners never receive recall notices in the mail, whether it's because they get lost pre-delivery or they buy a car used and records aren't properly updated.
Given this, you may wonder what options are available to you if you've been seriously injured in a car crash after your vehicle has been recalled.
If your car is operable, then one of the first steps you'll likely want to take is to have the necessary repairs performed. This is important to do, even if you find out that the recall occurred several years ago. Most dealers will honor the recall for this period of time. Even if it doesn't, it may be in your best interest to have repairs completed anyways as not doing so may put your safety at risk.
You should also consult with an auto defects attorney who can advise you as to what the statute of limitations is for suing the car manufacturer for any medical costs, lost wages and other expenses that you've amassed.
Critical to getting those expenses covered is being able to prove negligence. If the car manufacturer can prove that you were notified of the recall and didn't make necessary repairs, then they may argue that you contributed to your plight. You could be held at least partially negligent for your injuries as a result.
If you've suffered serious injuries while operating your car, then a Nashville attorney can advise you of your right to recover damages in your case.
Source: FindLaw, "I missed the recall. Can I sue?," Le Trinh, accessed May 22, 2018