New App Allows Car Owners to Get Recall Alerts by Phone
It is safe to say that auto manufacturers and government regulators do not exactly have the car recall notification process down to an exact science. Often, car owners first learn from news reports that their vehicles are being called back for serious defects that can pose a significant threat. And car buyers are typically left to dig through recall records on their own if they want to know whether a specific vehicle has been the subject of a recall.
Perhaps that is why the federal government says it is taking steps to make it easier to get recall information. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently rolled out a new SafeCar smartphone app that allows owners to personalize and track recall alerts.
“In today’s world, smartphones are the tool of choice for many tasks—and the updated SaferCar app is a new safety tool at the public’s disposal,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens said in a prepared statement announcing the tool. “The SaferCar app allows you to store your information locally on your device and then the app goes to work to inform you of recalls as they occur—and owners can more quickly get their free recall repairs scheduled.”
Users can load the app with information on their cars and set up alerts to let them know about recalls in something close to real-time.
Car Defects and Recalls
If history is any guide, the app will be busy.
Some 30 million vehicles are recalled in the U.S. alone each year. The defects sparking a recall can vary widely, but they often involve problems that are hard for owners to detect and which can result in serious safety hazards.
Ford, for example, recently announced it is recalling 2.1 million cars whose doors could fly open unexpectedly and without warning. Volvo around the same time said it was calling back some 2 million vehicles because of a defect that could make seat belts ineffective.
Legal Rights for California Car Owners
Fortunately, California car owners have some significant protections under the state’s lemon law.
The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act requires car manufacturers to perform repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. The law obligates a manufacturer that is unwilling to make those repairs or unable to fix a problem to buy the car back and compensate the owner for related costs.
The law also forces the manufacturer to pick up the tab for any legal fees that a car owner incurs enforcing his or her rights.
Speak with a California Lemon Law Lawyer
If you are a car owner or lessor who is locked in a dispute with a car manufacturer over repairs, an experienced California lemon law lawyer at the Bickel Law Firm can help.
Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law lawyer today.