The National Highway Safety Protection Administration (NHTSA) is doing their best to get car owners to take their vehicles in for recall repairs.
Millions of vehicles are awaiting replacement air bag inflators, for example, and that’s just one recall out of thousands. Automakers are responsible for alerting owners through the mail and through social media and other media advertisements, but statistics show that many owners still don’t get their vehicles fixed. According to AutoNews, only 9.4 million out of about 70 million Takata inflators have been replaced in the U.S.
That can be dangerous, because these air bags can explode upon deployment and cause serious injuries or even death. Other issues awaiting repair can be just as concerning. That’s why Mark Rosekind, NHTSA chief, is concentrating on getting the word out to consumers via a campaign-style bus tour through the southern part of the nation, where climate conditions are considered to put more drivers at risk.
NHTSA Encourages Motorists to Check for Safety Recalls
The NHTSA kicked off the tour “Safe Cars Save Lives” on August 2, 2016.It traveled through select cities in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas, spreading the word about recalls, as well as other safety issues, including car seats and heatstroke.
At each stop, safety experts also performed free safety checks, examining cars for tire inflation and car seat installation, and looking them up to see if they were under any outstanding recalls. “Taking a few minutes to run a safety check on your car, tires or car seats could help prevent a crash and save a life,” said Rosekind.
NHTSA is targeting the south, in particular, because studies have shown that high temperatures and humidity levels increase the risk that a defective Takata air bag will explode. It is these areas that have also been named priority one for accelerated repairs.
This bus tour was an offshoot of the NHTSA’s “Safe Cars Save Lives” campaign, which it launched in January 2016.
NHTSA Provides Online Source for Checking VIN
As part of the new campaign, the NHTSA urged vehicle owners to check for open recalls at least twice a year, and to follow up with repairs. It noted that on average, about 25 percent of recalled vehicles go unrepaired every year. In 2015 alone, there were close to 900 recalls affecting 51 million vehicles across the country.
Consumers can now go to NHTSA’s free website to check a VIN and see if there are any safety recalls on that vehicle. The NHTSA suggested that consumers do just that with daylight savings time changes—every November when we set clocks back, and every March when we push them forward.
NHTSA Encourages Automakers to Do More
The bus tour seemed to work, at least as far as raising consumer awareness is concerned. In both Miami and Atlanta, about half of the vehicles checked showed recalls that had not been repaired.
Meanwhile, the NHTSA is also prodding automakers to do more to alert consumers. It is expected that automakers and the administration will be announcing new methods of contacting consumers that they will try this fall.
Exclusively focused on representing plaintiffs, especially in mass tort litigation, Eric Chaffin prides himself on providing unsurpassed professional legal services in pursuit of the specific goals of his clients and their families. Both his work and his cases have been featured in the national press, including on ABC’s Good Morning America.