What to Do If You Receive a Safety Recall for Your Car

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What to Do If You Receive a Safety Recall for Your Car

If you're the owner of a 2017 Ford Focus, you may have received an important safety recall notice in December 2018. In October 2018, Ford announced it was recalling more than 1.2 million of its 2012 to 2018 Ford Focus cars because of a faulty part that may cause unexpected stalling. The company discovered the problem stemming due to a stuck canister purge valve within the fuel vapor system, which can lead to excessive vacuum and cause the plastic fuel tank to malfunction. This can result in:

  • An erratic or inaccurate fuel gauge indication
  • An inaccurate distance to empty
  • Other drivability concerns, which can all lead to an engine stall while driving

Ford says it will have parts ready for a repair by the first quarter of 2019. Owners of affected vehicles can get their cars repaired for free through Ford.

Getting a safety recall like this for your vehicle can be alarming. We use our cars for so much of our daily lives, so you might be wondering how to proceed and how to stay safe. Read on for information on when a recall is necessary and what to do if your car is recalled.

What to Do If You Receive a Safety Recall for Your Car

Why Do Recalls Happen?

Vehicle recalls may originate from the manufacturer or from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) when it's determined that a vehicle component creates an unreasonable safety risk or does not meet minimum safety standards. Manufacturers have the responsibility to ensure their products are safe to use.

Vehicles are serious machines. They weigh thousands of pounds and can be deadly when they don't work properly.

When there is a safety problem with a vehicle, it is up to the manufacturer to fix it. This may mean replacing entire vehicles or reimbursing customers for them, or repairing the problem.

What to Do If You Receive a Safety Recall for Your Car

How Will You Be Notified of a Vehicle Recall?

Vehicle recall notifications are sent by letters in the mail. The recall will be sent to your address that is on your vehicle registration, so you should always make sure that address is up-to-date.

You can also sign up for the NHTSA's email recall notification system. You'll receive automatic updates on vehicles and parts that have been recalled, including school buses, motorcycles, car seats and tires, or you can select your make and model and whatever parts you're interested in for custom notifications.

You can also always look up possible recalls on your car here. Make sure you have your 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to look up the recall. You can idenfity the VIN on the lower left part of your vehicle's windshield, on your vehicle's registration paperwork, and possibly on your insurance information.

Even if you don't receive a notification from the manufacturer about a recall, if your vehicle is affected, you are entitled to receive the free remedy the manufacturer is offering.

Steps to Take After a Vehicle Recall

Follow all instructions set forth in the recall notice. If dealers are ready to make repairs, schedule an appointment with your dealer as soon as possible. Bring your recall letter with you.

If your dealer refuses to make the repair according to the recall letter for free, you should notify the manufacturer. Try to gather as many details as possible, including the name of the dealership and any employees you dealt with. You can also make a complaint at www.safecar.gov.

What If Your Car Is Not Recalled, But There's a Safety Issue?

If you're experiencing safety issues with your vehicle, other drivers may be, too. Get it repaired and listen to your technician's recommendations.

You can then report your vehicle or the equipment safety problem to the NHTSA here. If there are similar reports from other drivers, the NHTSA may open up an investigation that can help keep you and other drivers safe. All personal information you submit is kept private, but an NHTSA investigator may call you to follow up. The NHTSA reviews every online report it receives, and it may open up an investigation at any time, not only after it receives a certain number of reports.

What to Do If You're a Victim of a Recalled Vehicle

If you are seriously injured in a car accident due to a recalled vehicle or recalled vehicle part, you should contact a Birmingham car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Manufacturer negligence can result in serious injuries or even death. Your rights as a consumer deserve to be protected.

Contact the Pittman, Dutton, Hellums, Bradley & Mann car accident attorney team for a free, no-obligation consultation. We only take on your case if we think we can win, and you don't pay unless we do.


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