The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced a ninth death caused by a defective Takata airbag injector. According to NHTSA, defective Takata airbags have a 50 percent chance of rupturing during a car crash. When these airbags fail, they shoot shrapnel into the faces of drivers and passengers. NHTSA has pleaded with auto manufacturers to revamp how they send consumers recall notices.
Auto manufacturers are required by law to notify consumers of recalls. However, many opt to do this by mail. Consumers may neglect to open these notices, they may move to new addresses, or mistake the warning as junk mail.
A growing number of Americans receive information through social media, email, television, voicemail and text messages. First-class mail is too archaic for 2017. NHTSA may soon require automakers to send recall notifications through electronic means.
Automakers could opt to use social media campaigns, phone calls, and other digital means to alert consumers when their vehicles are under recall. These campaigns could let consumers know where to receive repairs and what to expect.
Are There Other Ways to Receive Recall Notices?
You can already stay informed on recall notices without depending on your automaker. NHTSA operates www.safercar.gov, which allows you to type your vehicle identification number into the website’s search engine to check for recalls. In addition, you can download the safercar.gov app to receive automatic recall updates.
NHTSA’s new rule for recall notices may not materialize right away. A new rule may not be effective at warning consumers of recalls. It is important to stay informed so you can avoid death or catastrophic injuries caused by defective auto parts.