A vehicle safety recall is usually initiated either by the manufacturer voluntarily or by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Motor vehicles may have either safety defects or minor problems and if the automaker determines that a set of vehicles they have manufactured and sold has got some kind of a safety defect, then a recall must be conducted.
Some safety related problems that a vehicle may have are:
Wheels that break or crack
Airbags that do not deploy properly
Accelerator controls that break or stick
Child safety seats that contain defective parts and may result in injuries
Windshield wiper assemblies that fail to function properly and much more
There are also defects that are not safety-related, for example:
Excessive oil consumption
Air conditioner problems
Radios that do not function properly
Cosmetic faults and so on
Car owners are usually informed about a vehicle safety recall through vehicle recall notification letters that are sent by the automaker by the first-class mail. The automaker should inform the consumers about the recall in detail in the recall notification letter. It should be mentioned that all the repairs should be carried out by the dealerships at no cost to the consumers.
However, if the vehicle is more than 10 years old on the date the defect has been found out, the vehicle owner should pay all the repair costs necessary to fix the problem. According to the law, the age of the vehicle is calculated from the date of its sale to the first buyer.
The owners of old vehicles should realize that even though they are not eligible for reimbursement by the manufacturer, they should have their vehicles repaired on their own expenses to avoid accidents, injuries and even fatalities.
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