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Safety considerations matter in motor vehicle component recalls

Motor vehicle recalls are very important safety measures that help to prevent accidents and injuries. All motor vehicles that are sold in this country are held to strict safety standards. When a motor vehicle doesn't meet those standards, a recall is issued. Motor vehicle recalls have to do with all components of the vehicle, including the tires.

The primary goal of the safety standards set for motor vehicles is to protect drivers, passengers and others on the roadways from unsafe vehicles. In most cases, a full vehicle isn't recalled. Instead, the unsafe component is recalled. The recall can include groups of vehicles if the vehicles all use the same component.

There are some components that aren't considered safety-related components that might not be subjected to a mass safety-related recall. Paint blemishes and cosmetic defects aren't usually the center of a recall. Body panel rust or nonstructural rust, air conditioners that don't operate properly, radios that malfunction and excessive oil consumption are some other issues that won't initiate a recall. Items that must be maintained, inspected and replaced periodically, such as batteries, exhaust systems and brake pads, aren't subject to these recalls.

When complaints about safety defects in motor vehicles are made, the Office of Defects Investigation begins the four-step process for handling the investigation. If the defect complaint is founded, steps will be taken to get the manufacturer to issue a recall. If that isn't done, further steps are taken to initiate a recall.

For people who are injured in motor vehicles because of a defect that hasn't yet been recalled, seeking compensation is often a complex process. Understanding the process and learning what to do if you find out about a recall after the injury can help you if you decide to seek compensation.

Source: SafeCar.gov, "Motor Vehicle Defects and Safety Recalls: What Every Vehicle Owner Should Know," accessed Nov. 08, 2015

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