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Massive multi-manufacturer vehicle recall spotlights potential safety hazards for South Florida drivers

Since mid-October, our Margate car accident attorneys and Fort Lauderdale defective product lawyers have been monitoring the number of motor vehicle recalls issued by car makers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

As of October 21, six manufacturers have recalled more than 18 million motor vehicles to address issues ranging from faulty fuel pumps to a leak in a power-steering system that could lead to an engine fire.

Ford Motor Co. has issued the bulk of the recalls, ordering about 17. 5 million vehicles be repaired under the Mazda, Mercury, Ford and Lincoln brands. Just this week, Nissan, GM and Chrysler have recalled more than 600,000 vehicles. Neither the Nissan or the Chrysler defects appear to pose driving hazards, but the GM recall stems from a power steering issue that has caused a car fire in four vehicles.

A BMW recall involves 130,000 twin-turbo six-cylinder engine vehicles due to a faulty fuel pump that reduces power on failure. Suzuki and Mitsubishi have recalled 70,000 and 19,000 cars respectively. The Suzuki recall involves an outside rear-view mirror and the Mitsubishi recall is to address an air conditioning malfunction.

Recalls can be ordered by the NHTSA or issued independently by a manufacturer, but, regardless of how inspired, a recall requires a public report that identifies the problem, the make and model of vehicle involved, what defect caused the recall to be issued and how the company plans to correct the problem. The manufacturer is required to notify product owners and distributors when a recall is ordered, and remedies – repairs, replacements or repurchase – must be offered at no charge. Remedies must also effectively correct the safety issue.

If you receive a notification letter that your vehicle has been recalled, the NHTSA suggests you take the following steps to see that repairs are made appropriately and in a timely fashion:

~ Upon notification – generally via letter – that your vehicle is subject to recall, contact your car dealer’s service department to schedule a recall repair. Please note that the service department should NOT charge you for a recall repair.

~ If your dealer’s service department is not handling your recall repair to your satisfaction, or if they try to charge you for a recall repair, contact the service department manager and provide him or her with a copy of your recall notification letter.

~ If talking with the service department manager at your dealership is ineffective, contact the manufacturer. Provide all identifying information about your vehicle, your car dealer and your recall notification.

~ If going to the manufacturer also proves ineffective, contact the NHTSA.

The South Florida car accident lawyers at Freeman & Mallard have been successfully and aggressively representing accident victims and their families in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Pierce /Port St. Lucie for years. Call us today to schedule a no-obligation appointment to discuss your case at 1-800-529-2368.

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