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Not All Car Owners Get Notified of Recalls

» Posted August 16, 2017Resources | Share This Post

Many consumers don't understand the laws that protect them when their vehicle is defective, which is why it is so important for new car buyers with vehicle problems to talk with an Orange County lemon law attorney.  Consumers also need to understand how car recalls work and make certain they monitor for any recalls of vehicles that they own.

Unfortunately, as Consumer Affairs notes, not all car owners whose vehicles are recalled are properly notified of the recall. This means that drivers continue to operate dangerous cars that could increase their risk of becoming involved in a serious or even fatal automobile accident. 

Many Drivers of Recalled Vehicles are Not Notified of the Recalls

As Consumer Affairs explains, the problem is that car manufacturers send out recall notices only to the owners of record on a vehicle. In many situations, the information on file regarding who the owner of record is for a particular car is not accurate.  Because of a thriving used car market in the United States, cars change hands all the time to new owners. If a car owner sells his vehicle and does not respond to a recall notice, the new owner of that car may have no way of knowing that the vehicle was under recall and thus is in need of repairs.

Unfortunately, many people who buy from car dealers are among the group of used car buyers who are deprived of vital information about recalls. While car buyers might naturally assume that a dealer could not sell them a car with a defect that had prompted a recall unless the defect was fixed, this is not the case. There were as many as 3.5 million used cars online that were for sale which had an open recall in 2013, and record numbers of recalls in recent years mean there are likely many more cars with unrepaired defects for sale today.

Even when the car manufacturer has the correct information about who the owner of record is, this still does not always mean that the car's owner actually gets the information about the recall.  Car recall notices that are sent in the mail could be mistaken as advertisements, sales pitches or other junk mail. Consumers might throw the notices out before they have ever opened or read them, thus missing out on important information about serious safety defects.

To try to ensure that consumers are actually aware that a recall has been sent out, the federal government established a new mandate recently to require that recall notices now contain a prominent label. The goal of the new label, which alerts the recipient of the recall notice to the fact that the mail contains important safety recall information, is to get car owners to open and read the car manufacturer's alerts.

Consumers can use a free online tool to search their car's VIN number to find out if their vehicle has been recalled. Car buyers may also wish to talk with an Orange County lemon law attorney to find out what options they have if they purchased a vehicle and have repeated problems with the car. By being proactive, car buyers can protect themselves from the safety risks of unrepaired vehicle defects.


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