What to Do if My Car Has Recalled Parts

What Should I Do if My Car Has Recalled Parts?

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What Should I Do if My Car Has Recalled Parts?

Every year in the United States, millions of vehicles are recalled by auto manufacturers or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Every safety defect places drivers and passengers at risk of sustaining injuries caused by a motor vehicle accident. The purpose of car recalls is to prevent defective automobiles from hurting drivers and passengers. Unfortunately, automakers issue far too many delayed car recalls that fail to protect motorists from sustaining injuries caused by a vehicle collision.

If you received a recall notice from an auto manufacturer, you need to answer the question, “What should I do if my car has recalled parts.” The answer is not as clear-cut as it appears. If you received a recall notice for vehicle parts, you should contact the auto manufacturer to request a remedy that covers your financial losses. On the other hand, if you received a recall notice after you were involved in a vehicle collision, the delayed recall notice might justify the filing of a personal injury lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.

In either case, you should contact a car defect attorney to determine how to handle the recall. Since 1988, the product liability lawyers at Morgan & Morgan have helped clients recover more than $20 billion in monetary damages for personal injury cases. When you sit down for a free case evaluation, one of our experienced car defect attorneys reviews your case to decide whether you should move forward with the filing of a civil lawsuit. Even if you do not file a personal injury lawsuit, the lawyer representing you from Morgan & Morgan ensures you receive the legal rights granted under the product recall laws at the state and federal levels.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • What Are the Common Car Parts That Get Recalled?

    If you were involved in a car accident and later received a car recall notice from the auto manufacturer, you might have a strong enough case to file a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages. When you sit down with a product liability lawyer from Morgan & Morgan, the first piece of evidence to discuss involves the defective auto part that caused the car accident.

    Although any car part can cause a serious vehicle collision, the following auto parts represent the most common parts that get recalled by car manufacturers.

    Fuel System

    A car accident that triggers a fire can cause life-threatening injuries. The typical culprit for a fiery car crash is a faulty fuel system. For example, the car manufacturer failed to install a cut-off valve to prevent gas from flowing out of the fuel system.

    Door Latch

    The NHTSA conducted an investigation in 2014 concerning the rapid rise in the number of accidents caused by defective door latches. Since faulty door latches fall under strict liability law, your attorney does not have to prove negligence for you to receive monetary damages.


    Poorly designed and inadequately installed steering components can produce serious accidents. You might have experienced difficulty turning a steering wheel or had to deal with your car drifting from side to side. Auto manufacturers have to follow the duty of care doctrine, which means they have the legal obligation to manufacture steering components that prevent collisions.


    Defective brakes can lead to a vehicle collision that causes serious injuries. Auto manufacturers recall defective brakes more than they recall any other part of a motor vehicle. However, there is a fine line between a poorly constructed braking system and a braking system that deteriorates because of normal wear and tear.


    Tires represent another auto part that succumbs to the wear and tear of frequent use over time. Nonetheless, automakers send out recall notices for tires at about the same rate as they send out recall notices for defective brakes. Poorly designed tires can place a driver and passenger at a high risk of sustaining serious injuries caused by a collision.

  • What Is a Car Recall?

    A car recall represents a statement issued by a car manufacturer that a motor vehicle poses a safety risk. Automakers issue recalls for specified parts that no longer meet the rigid Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards established by the NHTSA. Although most recalls come from car manufacturers, the NHTSA possesses the legal authority to issue car recalls if the federal government agency feels an automaker is putting drivers and passengers in harm’s way.

    When a new make and model gets recalled because of one or more defective parts, the reason for the faulty parts can be either an installation error committed by the manufacturer or a design flaw made by a supplier. 

  • How Do I Determine Whether My Car Is Covered by a Recall?

    Car recalls happen frequently, but most of them do not receive enough publicity to alert owners about potentially dangerous issues. Automakers must send out recall notices to every owner of a recalled vehicle, but the many notices can go unread. At least twice a year, you should access the recall database operated by the NHTSA to determine whether your car is the subject of a recall. Input your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into the search box and you should receive information immediately that lets you know about any recalls issued for your make and model of motor vehicle.

  • My Car Has Recalled Parts: What Should I Do?

    The first thing to do after receiving a recall notice for your motor vehicle is to contact your local dealership to schedule a service appointment. The dealer should repair or replace the defective auto part quickly to ensure you can get back to your daily routine. If some of the problem stems from the aging of a part, then you might have to pay for some of the repair and/or replacement costs. However, most car recalls for parts usually place the financial burden for fixing the issue on the dealership.

    Sometimes, a defective part does not have a replacement part immediately ready for installation. This means you might have to rent a car in the interim until the automaker sends the new and improved part to the dealership. For a serious issue, the car manufacturer might recommend that you do not operate the motor vehicle under any circumstances. Recalls do not have an expiration date and they transfer from one owner to another owner.

  • What Are My Recall Remedies?

    Federal law states that auto manufacturers must provide consumers with a remedy for every recall notice. Although the remedy you receive should not cost you any money, the type of remedy chosen is solely up to the automaker. The car manufacturer that issued a part recall for your motor vehicle can choose to repair or replace the defective part, as well as give you a substantial refund for the purchase of a new car. If the defective part caused an accident, you should contact one of the product liability attorneys at Morgan & Morgan to discuss the possibility of filing a civil lawsuit.

  • What Do I Need to Know About Suing for a Recall?

    Receiving a remedy for a recalled car does not mean you no longer can file a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages. If the recall caused you an undue financial burden, you might have a strong enough case to pursue litigation. The remedy selected by the car manufacturer does not cover the financial losses generated by one or more injuries. Therefore, you have the right to seek just compensation to pay for medical bills and the value lost because your vehicle requires substantial repairs.

    What Is the Deadline for Filing a Civil Lawsuit?

    Every state has established a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Most states have set the deadline for filing a civil lawsuit between two and four years from the date you received a recall notice or from the date when you sustained injuries caused by a vehicle collision. If you fail to meet the deadline for filing a civil lawsuit, you can expect the court to dismiss your complaint.

    What Is Contributory Negligence?

    Contributory negligence plays an important role in car recall cases. The legal term refers to the actions taken by the owner of a motor vehicle that contributed to a car accident that produced injuries. For example, let’s assume you received a recall notice for a defective ignition system. The car manufacturer recommends that you repair the faulty ignition before you drive the vehicle again. You decide to wait on repairing the ignition and the result is the faulty ignition contributed to an auto accident. The automaker might contend that delaying repair work put you in harm’s way, which means you should assume some of the blame for causing the accident.

    What Is Post-Sale Duty to Warn?

    Based on a common-law principle, the post-sale duty to warn requires a car manufacturer to warn consumers about the potential dangers of a product after the sale of the product. Not every state honors this legal principle, which means you should consult with a state-licensed car defect lawyer to determine whether the automaker should have warned you pre-sale about any auto part defects.

    What Is Successor Liability?

    Successor liability refers to the obligations a company has after it purchases a company with legal issues. For a car recall, is the new company legally responsible for providing remedies for owners of a defective motor vehicle? In most cases, the successor company assumes the legal liability associated with a car recall. A company might attempt to file for bankruptcy to avoid the legal consequences of an auto part recall.

  • Contact a Law Firm That Works for You

    The shock of receiving a car recall notice has started to dissipate. Now, you have to answer the question, “What should I do if my car has recalled parts.” The first thing to do is to contact a law firm that has years of experience representing clients that face car calls. When you meet with one of the car defect lawyers at Morgan & Morgan, you should bring the recall notice, as well as notes describing the communications you had with the local dealership and the auto manufacturer. After a detailed investigation, the lawyer you meet with will recommend the steps you should take to receive compensation for any financial losses.

    Schedule a free case evaluation with one of the product liability attorneys at Morgan & Morgan.

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