When a vehicle or its part falls short of motor safety standards, the manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will issue a recall. The five most common reasons for motor vehicle recalls are as follows.
1. Faulty Steering Equipment
One of the most common types of auto recalls involves steering equipment. The steering system transfers the rotation of the steering wheel to the steering shaft on the vehicle to move the wheels left or right. When there is a safety issue, it may cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle. Examples of recalled defects include problems with wheel assembly, stabilizers, suspension bushings, control arms, or electrical shorts or malfunctions.
2. Defective Airbags
Poorly designed or untested airbags can lead to preventable catastrophic injuries or fatalities in an accident. Airbags are often recalled for failing to go off, inflating too much or too little, being too powerful, or going off without warning.
3. Wiring Issues
A vehicle’s electrical system plays a critical role in how well it runs. It consists of many components and controls many things, from windows to starting the engine. As a result, when there is a defect in the wiring system, vehicles must be recalled. Recalls have occurred due to drivers experiencing an abrupt loss of power in a part of the vehicle, intermittent failure of electrical components, or a risk of fire.
4. Fuel Leaks
Another common reason for vehicle recalls is defective fuel systems, which are linked to a large number of vehicle fires. Reasons for fuel leak recalls often include issues with the fuel tank design, for instance, if it is improperly positioned, poor welding, or there is a lack of barriers, increasing the possibility of a puncture, and others. When the fuel tank is improperly designed or manufactured, it can lead to a complete fuel system failure placing the driver’s and other’s lives at risk if a fire or explosion occurs.
5. Defective Brakes or Braking Systems
Faulty brake systems are often recalled because they can cause malfunctions, which may lead to brake fluid leaking out. As a result, the fluid will not reach the brakes, and the driver will not be able to stop the vehicle when pushing the brake pedal. Other vehicle brake manufacturing defects are commonly found in the Antilock Brake System (ABS) or the dual brake system (parking brake). For example, an ABS malfunction that causes a vehicle’s wheels to lock up, preventing the driver from steering to safety.
Liability for Car Accidents Caused by a Recalled Part
When a recalled vehicle part or system results in an accident, you may have the right to hold the manufacturer responsible. A recall does not protect manufacturers from liability, and defects can be the cause of collisions long before a recall is issued. To have a viable case against the vehicle manufacturer, you must establish that the defective part caused your injuries. However, if you knew or should have known about the recall and had a reasonable amount of time to fix the issue, you may be partially or entirely responsible for the accident.