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What are some common auto defects?

Your vehicle is supposed to meet certain safety standards. The National Motor Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act enables the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue recalls when a car does not meet those standards. Since 1966, when the legislation was enacted, there have been more than 390 million such recalls on vehicles alone.

There are two times that a recall will be necessary: when the vehicle or the vehicle equipment has a safety-related defect or when the vehicle or equipment is not in compliance with federal standards. Some common examples of safety-related defects include the following: 

  • An issue with the accelerator that causes the vehicle to speed up despite the use of brakes
  • Cracked or otherwise faulty tires that result in blowouts or accidents
  • Brake failures or issues with the steering that lead to a driver’s inability to control the vehicle
  • Airbags that either fail to deploy or that deploy for no reason
  • A seatbelt failure that results in a driver or passengers who are not properly restrained

If you believe that your vehicle may have a defect, it is important to take action as soon as possible. When there is no recall in place for your vehicle, check to see if your warranty will cover repairs. You should also file a formal complaint with both the manufacturer and the NHTSA. Consumer Reports notes that to document the defect, you will have to provide the vehicle identification number, make, model, year and a description of the problem. If the defect may have caused an accident, you have the right to take legal action against the manufacturer.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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