As stated in the previous article (Conducting Car Recalls, Providing Safer Roads to Drivers - Part 1), the nationwide Toyota car recall was triggered by the controversial death of California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer Mark Saylor, his wife Cleofe, brother-in-law Chris Lastrella, and daughter Mahala.
A month after the fatal accident, Toyota recalled around 3.8 million vehicles. Both NHTSA and the manufacturing company received several complaints regarding faulty and dangerous accelerator pedals which have caused vehicles to accelerate unexpectedly.
In its defense, Toyota claimed that the accelerator problem was caused by pedals which got stuck to floor mats. It even presented a solution to the problem, but a number of owners did not believe that it will make their vehicle safer.
When a manufacturing company decided to conduct a car recall or if was ordered to do so, its first job will be to contact owners of the different affected vehicles. Under the federal law, here are the different steps that manufacturers need to follow when they plan to conduct such recall:
- Filing a public report- This report will state the equipments or vehicles that will be covered by the recall. To be more specific, this report should include the following:
- A timetable for the recall
- The discovered defect and how such problem can become dangerous to the owners
- Ways on how can the manufacturer resolve the problem
- Events which resulted in the discovery of the vehicle defect
- Locating equipment or vehicle owners- If different models of vehicles were subjected to a recall, it will be the job of the manufacturer to locate or communicate with the owners of such vehicles. They can accomplish this goal looking at their own company records as well as the latest registration records. Meanwhile, if equipments are covered by the recall, the manufacturer should immediately contact distribution chains or other entities that have purchased them.
- Providing a notification letter to vehicle owners- This letter should inform the owners about the defect, the danger it causes, a free remedy to it (if available), time period in which the solution would take effect, and different options available to drivers of ever the manufacturer did not provide free repair services or failed to resolve the problem immediately.
For vehicle owners who feel that their car is defective, but were not given a notification letter, they can still determine if they will be affected by the recall by contacting NHTSA.
To know more about the dangers brought by defective cars and the procedures involved before a manufacturing company conducts a recall; do not hesitate to call a Los Angeles personal injury attorney. You can also find additional information in Conducting Car Recalls, Providing Safer Roads to Drivers (Part 3).