The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced that starting February 18, 2014, all automakers will be required to include a distinguishing label on their recall mailings. These mandatory labels will make it easier for owners to identify this important piece of correspondence.
When inundated with junk mail, it’s not uncommon for someone accidentally to throw away something important such as a recall. The misleading materials that car dealerships and other companies send, attempting to appear legitimate, have caused many vehicle owners to discard an important, valid notice like a recall mailing mistakenly.
These new labeling requirements will improve efforts to get information out to owners when there is a problem with their vehicles or equipment. Parts for which manufacturers can be held liable include such things as tires or child car seats.
Additionally, NHTSA has launched a SaferCar app for Android, which is in addition to the iOS app already available for iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone.
The SaferCar app provides free access to valuable information such as:
- 5-Star Safety Ratings;
- recalls; and
- the ability to submit a complaint when there is a potential safety problem.
Other Ways to Protect Yourself from a Defective Vehicle or Equipment
It’s hard to say how many people never learn about a recall and continue to drive around with a vehicle that could pose the risk of injury. But there are other ways that consumers can better protect themselves.
In order to receive a recall mailing, it’s important to register your vehicle or equipment with the manufacturer and/or NHTSA. This is the only way they can get information out to owners.
Signing up for the app is another way. However, this can be taken a step further by having alerts sent directly to your phone or email.
Also, before purchasing a vehicle, always check NHTSA’s website at safercar.gov. It provides a variety of ways to make your search easy. You can stay apprised of some recalls by subscribing to the Gacovino, Lake & Associates newsletter, Torts and More.
Of course, should someone suffer injuries because of a defective vehicle or equipment, then the next step would be to contact an attorney at Gacovino, Lake & Associates at 800-550-0000.