Car Recalls

What Should I Do if My Car Was Recalled?

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What Should I Do if My Car Was Recalled?

Every year in the United States, millions of products receive recall notices for a wide variety of reasons. Products such as toys, food, and electronics can break down and potentially cause consumers harm. No other product has more potential to seriously hurt someone than a defective motor vehicle. If you have received a recall notice for the make and model of your car, you want to know the answer to the question, “What should I do if my car was recalled?”

The answer to the question depends on the timing of the recall notice. If you received a recall notice and the defects listed within the notice did not cause you harm, you follow a multiple-step recall process. A car defect attorney can help you follow the process to ensure you receive the right legal remedy. The second option involves a personal injury caused by a defective vehicle before you received a recall notice. Working with a product liability lawyer who specializes in car defect cases might get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

For example, let’s say your car’s brake system gave out while you were driving on a city road, and the loss of braking power caused you to collide with another vehicle. You suffered serious enough injuries to seek immediate medical care. A couple of weeks later, you received a recall notice from the manufacturer of your car describing how a defective braking system might cause an accident. Although you received a recall notice, it came too late for you to avoid serious injuries.

To learn more about the answer to the question, “What should I do if my car was recalled,” contact one of the product liability attorneys at Morgan & Morgan to schedule a free case evaluation. For more than three decades, our experienced team of personal injury lawyers has won favorable legal judgments totaling more than $20 billion. Because you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit for a defective automobile, you should act with a sense of urgency by contacting one of the highly-rated litigators from Morgan & Morgan.

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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 Most Common Types of Car Defects?

    One or more car defects can cause serious injuries that require intensive treatments and physical therapy sessions. When you sit down with one of our product liability attorneys, the first item on the agenda is to determine what type of car defect led to your injuries.

    Seat Belts

    Because of considerable publicity, one of the first things we do when we get into a vehicle is buckle up a seat belt. The safety device saves lives, as well as prevents serious back and neck pain. However, a seat belt that does not operate properly can cause serious injuries. From a broken latch to a faulty tension detector, a defective seat belt places a motorist in grave danger, especially if a car rolls over after a collision with another vehicle


    A defective airbag that deploys accidentally can obstruct the view of a driver, which can force the driver to make poor operating decisions. Some defective airbags do not deploy on impact. A defective airbag can cause burns, fractures, and hearing loss. Vehicle recalls because of faulty airbags represent one of the most common reasons why manufacturers send out recall notices for a make and model of a motor vehicle.

    Braking System

    Brakes that do not operate correctly are a common and sometimes deadly type of car defect. If you cannot stop your car in a timely manner, you are operating an unsafe motor vehicle. Losing control of the brake and/or acceleration pedals prevents a driver from gaining control of a vehicle. Some of the warning signs an auto manufacturer has built a vehicle with a defective braking system include leaky hydraulic lines or a parking brake that does not prevent a car from moving. 

  • What Is a Car Recall?

    Either a car manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues a recall for a make and model if the car does not meet the minimum threshold for safety standards. Auto manufacturers typically decide to issue a recall to avoid costly class action litigation. However, some automakers do not alert car owners in time to prevent serious accidents caused by a defective car.

    You can participate in the recall process by informing the NHTSA about a faulty automobile. Your complaint enters a database that is available for review by the public. If the NHTSA receives several similar complaints, the federal government agency might decide to launch an investigation that ultimately leads to the issuance of recall notices. Auto manufacturers must fix the issue that triggered a recall notice by repairing the problem, replacing the vehicle, or offering the owner of the car a refund.

  • How Do I Discover Whether My Car Was Recalled?

    According to the Safety Recall Compendium released by the NHTSA, automakers must notify consumers of a safety defect within a reasonable period. If your vehicle is covered by a safety recall, the car manufacturer must send you a notice within  60 days after informing the NHTSA about the defective motor vehicle. To ensure you receive a timely recall notice, remember to register your car with the manufacturer shortly after buying it.

    You have two ways to discover whether your car is the subject of a recall. First, you sign up with the NHTSA to receive an email alert. Another way to discover whether your vehicle is covered by a recall notice involves checking the NHTSA database. Input your car’s 17-character Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), which you can find in your car registration document. The NHTSA suggests car owners check its recall database at least two times a year.
    If you discover your car is the subject of a recall notice, then you need to answer the question, “What should I do if my car was recalled?”

  • What Is the Recall Process?

    After you discover your vehicle is covered by a recall, you should receive a notice that contains important information. The recall notice should describe the make and model of the vehicle recalled. You should find out what risks the car presents because of a safety issue. The automaker should provide you with a list of possible remedies, as well as describe what you need to do to receive a remedy.

    Although the recall process appears to be straightforward, many of the recalls issued by car manufacturers hit a snag during the remedy process. Some automakers simply do not want to compensate owners of a recalled vehicle. If your car was recalled and the recall is registered in the NHTSA national database, you have the right to seek just compensation for your financial loss. One of the skilled litigators at Morgan & Morgan can help you receive the compensation you deserve because of a vehicle recall.

  • What Are My Rights During a Vehicle Recall?

    You have the right to receive a notification in writing that provides a detailed description of the recall of your automobile.  The car manufacturer must inform you when a remedy is available, as well as how long the remedy takes before you receive satisfaction for the loss of your vehicle. Every repair completed to fix a recall issue must be free of charge. You have the right to receive the contact information of the automaker and any auto repair shop that tries to repair the defect that prompted the recall notification.

    When the time comes to seek a remedy for your recalled auto, you should follow the principle of the three Rs. You have the right to a refund, free repairs, or the replacement of your automobile. If the auto manufacturer does not offer you any of the three remedies, you should contact a car defect attorney from Morgan & Morgan. You should not have to pay for repair costs and if an auto repair shop demands payment for repairs, you should inform the automaker about the unethical practice. If the automaker does not take proper action, then you should reach out to one of the state-licensed litigators from Morgan & Morgan.

    When you bring your car in for repairs, you have the right to learn where you should bring your car, as well as how long it will take to fix your motor vehicle.

  • What Does a Car Defect Attorney Do?

    If your car is the subject of a recall issued by the manufacturer, what action should you take to ensure you receive full compensation for the loss of your vehicle? The first step involves contacting one of the product liability attorneys at Morgan & Morgan.

    During the free case evaluation, your car defect lawyer determines whether design defects, poorly constructed materials, and/or negligence of assembly contributed to the recall of your car. The key is for your lawyer to connect any flaws with the car manufacturer's legal obligation of owing you a duty of care. This means the automaker by law must design and manufacture cars that protect owners from sustaining injuries. If the automaker breached its duty of care, your attorney might have a strong enough case to file a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages.

    Collects and Organizes Evidence

    Timing is everything for a car defect case. If you received a recall notice from the manufacturer after suffering injuries caused by a car accident, your attorney will collect and organize the evidence required to file a persuasive personal injury lawsuit. Timing involves proving you received the recall notice on a date after the date when you were involved in a vehicle collision. Another timing issue is determining whether the car manufacturer sent you the recall notice within 60 days of informing the NHTSA about the vehicle’s defects.

    Understands the Legal Process

    An experienced product liability lawyer understands the rules of evidence and civil procedure. Your lawyer explains the trial process to you, as well as prepares you to answer tough questions from the defendant’s attorney while under oath. Each state has enacted unique product liability laws, which means your lawyer must understand how to pursue a civil lawsuit by referring to the product liability statutes passed in the state where you live. One of the most important roles of an auto defect attorney is to anticipate the possible defenses the defendant might use to counter your lawyer’s legal arguments. 

    Act With a Sense of Urgency

    Answering the question, “What should I do if my car was recalled,” should center on finding legal representation as quickly as possible after you learn about your vehicle’s recall. If you want to file a personal injury lawsuit, you must submit the proper paperwork before the expiration of the statute of limitations, which typically runs between two and four years.

    At Morgan & Morgan, we have an experienced team of litigators that can help you receive the right remedy for a vehicle recall, as well as represent you during a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. Schedule a free case evaluation today to determine the best course of legal action.

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