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What You Need to Know About Recalls and Technical Service Bulletins

» Posted November 25, 2016Resources | Share This Post

Defective cars are released into the marketplace every day in the United States. In some cases, consumers will end up with cars that are nothing but problems, and those consumers should get help from an Orange County lemon law attorney with exploring options for legal remedies. In other circumstances, innocent consumers buy vehicles that turn out to have a defect that needs to be repaired. Getting these problems fixed can be a hassle, but it is often important for safety.

Consumers need to be informed when a problem with their cars arise so they can take action and get the issue taken care of in a timely manner. There are a few different ways in which information about vehicle problems can be provided to consumers. One common action that can be taken is to recall vehicles, while another action is to issue a technical service bulletin. Many consumers, however, are not certain exactly what recalls and technical service bulletins actually mean. Road and Track has an explanation for those who own cars and want to make certain that they are adequately informed.

Differences Between Recalls and Technical Service Bulletins

According to Road and Track, “recalls are mandated by the government when a problem is found with an automobile which is safety related.” Recent examples of vehicle recalls include recalls prompted by ignition switches that turned off unexpectedly, as well as recalls prompted by airbags that malfunctioned and sent metal parts flying through the vehicles after accidents happen.

If a recall occurs due to a safety problem, the manufacturer has to make repairs at no cost, even when the car that has the problem is no longer under warranty.  Not every problem with a car necessarily will lead to a recall or a free fix, though. If there is a problem that develops, like paint de-lamination and it does not cause safety concerns, car makers won't have to fix the issue on cars that are no longer under any warranty.

If a problem arises with vehicles and the manufacturers don't necessarily have to fix the problem, the manufacturers may decide to release a technical service bulletin. Technical service bulletins are not recalls and they do not mean a manufacturer is going to make fixes.

A technical service bulletin provides instructions for how to fix a common issue arising with a particular car. That way, if your car is no longer covered under a warranty and you take it to a mechanic to fix it, the mechanic will have instructions from the manufacturer on how to proceed. 

If you have any problems with your new vehicle, you will need to understand what the manufacturer's obligation is so you can make an informed choice on how to proceed. A lemon law attorney can help consumers determine when and how consumer protection laws apply to force manufacturers to provide remedies. Contact The Bickel Law Firm if you have problems with your car and want to know what legal steps you can take to resolve them.


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