What are safety-related defects in vehicles?

Around 30,000 people died on the highways in 2009. That's an impressive decrease of 28 percent since 2006, but it's still not good enough. One of the problems still making its way onto the roads is the possibility of motor vehicle defects.

Defects make a vehicle dangerous; some are minor, like a piece of material prone to fall down. Others are more serious, like accelerator pedals that won't release.

Manufacturer Recall

The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (NTMVSA) allows the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to control the standards of vehicles on the road by giving the organization the right to recall vehicles that aren't up to manufacturers' specifications. In most cases, manufacturers initiate recalls on their own, but in some prominent cases, that hasn't happened. When recalls aren't made, people could lose their lives.

Recalls are normally only issued if there is a safety-related issue within the vehicle. For instance, if the airbags deploy unexpectedly, that's an extreme hazard to the driver and his or her passengers. another example would be if an accelerator sticks of if jacks collapse while supporting a vehicle, causing injury to those working on it.

Ordinary wear and tear is not considered to be a defect. Even lining that comes loose may not be a defect. However, if lining comes loose and obstructs a driver's vision, that now becomes a safety hazard.

Defects Can Be Dangerous

Defects have the potential to put many people's lives at risk. If you find out your vehicle has a recall out for one of its parts, make sure you take it in for repair.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Motor Vehicle Defects and Safety Recalls: What Every Vehicle Owner Should Know: https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/recallprocess.cfm," accessed Feb. 15, 2018

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