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Defective Vehicles Cause Accidents Before Recalls Are Issued

Multiple news agencies have indicated that safety advocates have urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and automakers to address issues associated with informal car defect probes.

According to a recent study carried out by the Quality Control Systems, between 2002 and 2009, 375 people were killed in auto accidents linked to tire tread separation issues. According to the official data, in one of the cases, the police officers who investigated the accident did not find any fault with the tire manufacturer or the company behind the manufacturing of the vehicle involved in the crash? Ford.

Reports show that some are claiming that after these accidents, the company failed to address this issue and so did National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Critics say that the company is required by law to alert the federal agency concerning all accidents or claims the company receives in association with the accidents that result in deaths. However, some say that some of this information can be kept confidential in spite of the federal requirements.

The NHTSA reports all potential defects its agents are aware of, especially when it comes to defects liked to autos involved in fatal accidents or crashes that resulted in injuries. The agency is also quick to publish its investigations on potentially defective however informal investigations are never published. Months could go by without any word on the dangers, which could result in accidents since consumers are unaware of the risks.

In the past, several informal investigations were carried out and no word on the potential defects was ever published, according to critics. Some of the examples they cite include a Hyundai recall linked to Santa Fe SUVs, which were discovered to have been equipped with potential defective air bags that could fail in an accident. The company only issued the recall once the NHTSA contacted the firm to ask about the 8,000 warranty claims and other 16 consumer complaints regarding the issue before the recall was issued.  The issue had been brought to the company attention, however, the recall was only issued after the complaints and warranty claims were reported by the NHTSA.

When Evenflo and the federal agency recalled more than 1 million car safety seats known as Discovery child car seats, consumers were unaware of the fact that the product had been tested by the agency for almost a whole year before the product was in fact recalled. Concerns had been raised regarding these products and the tests were carried out but the public was never aware of the studies.

Although the federal agency had tested Chevy Volts for six months, the NHTSA only reported it would be officially testing Volt batteries in November of 2011.

While investigations are being carried out behind the scenes, the public is not aware of the complaints and potential risks, increasing the risk of potential accidents and injuries.

For more details on these past recalls, click here.

About the Author
The Vachon Law Firm is based in Southern California and focuses exclusively on consumer protection litigation.