How to handle a car recall in Connecticut

Learn what to do if you learn your car has been recalled (or you suspect it should be recalled) and who is responsible for repair costs.

You can be one of the safest drivers in Connecticut and still get into an accident that is not your fault. But what happens when you are in an accident that is neither your fault nor the other driver's fault, but your car manufacturer's fault? Car recalls are on the rise, which can compromise your safety, as well as the safety of everyone else on the road. Thankfully, you can receive forewarning of a recall before the recall leads to an accident Learn what steps to take if this happens.

Understanding car recalls

Car recalls commonly go out when a manufacturer notices a defect that compromises a vehicle's overall safety, such as faulty brakes, airbags that do not deploy or unintended acceleration. Unfortunately, auto manufacturers do not always inform the public of defects or take action to remedy defects. Thankfully, you can reach out to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration if you notice an issue with your vehicle you feel warrants an investigation or recall. Even if the car manufacturer does not launch an investigation, the NHTSA can, and the administration can also be the one to issue the recall. In either case, the manufacturer bears responsibility for taking care of the issue.

Finding out about recalls

If either the manufacturer or the NHTSA issues a recall, you should receive a letter of notification in the mail within 60 days of the recall decision. This is one reason why it is a good idea to register your car with the manufacturer, updating your physical address whenever you move. You also have the option of signing up for recall email alerts from the NHTSA. For more serious recall issues, you may receive a phone call, so be sure you update your number with your car's manufacturer as needed.

Taking action

If you get a recall letter, read over it carefully to determine what the issue is, what risks there are and what warning signs to make yourself aware of. Also, look over the letter to see whether you should immediately stop driving your car. You will likely be advised to schedule an appointment with your local dealer to have the issue taken care of. Even if the issue is a minor one, one not likely to cause an accident, it is best that you do not procrastinate on having the problem handled.

Paying for repairs

With most recalls, because you are not responsible for the defect, you are not financially responsible for the repair cost. That said, the manufacturer does not have to cover the cost to repair a recalled model that is more than 10 years old.

Do you suspect your recent car accident in Connecticut was due to a car defect? If so, reach out to a legal professional to explore your options.