Dear Reader,

Hyundai and Kia recently issued a rather shocking recall that affects more than 3.3 million vehicles, many of which have been in operation since 2010. Hyundai is recalling 13 different models from 2010-2015.  Kia is recalling a dozen models from 2014 to 2019. The reason for these massive recalls? Defects in brake and electrical lines that can pose a fire hazard.

This is troubling news. Not only are these rolling fire hazards in operation today, but some of us have been living with these unknown threats parked in our garages for over a decade.

And that’s only part of what’s concerning about this recall alert…

How many vehicles have you gone through in the past 13 years?

My guess is more than one.

It’s possible, likely even, that the affected vehicles have changed hands more than once.  With each transfer, the information about recalls and potential issues can easily get lost. This leads to a concerning situation where the current drivers of these vehicles may be completely unaware of the risk they’re taking every time they drive or park their cars. How will second and third-generation owners ever know their vehicle is on this deadly list?

These fire-causing defects in brake and electrical lines are a stark reminder of the need for constant vigilance and rigorous vehicle safety checks.

Given the long lifespan of vehicles and the possibility of multiple owners, you have to take responsibility for your safety on and off the road. Take your vehicle in for regular maintenance and stay informed about recalls. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a valuable resource for checking whether your vehicle is on a recall list.  I recommend you visit the NHTSA recall list, have your VIN ready, and check at least once a month.  By periodically checking with the NHTSA, you stay aware of any safety concerns related to your vehicle.

Ignoring these recalls can have serious consequences.  Worse still, if a vehicle defect causes a fire and, say, burns your house down, it can be hard to determine who is liable.  Generally, if a manufacturer has identified a defect that poses a safety risk and has issued a recall, they have acknowledged their responsibility for the defect. If an accident occurs because of a known defect, the manufacturer can be liable for any resulting injuries or damages.

As a vehicle owner, you have a role in ensuring your safety. If a manufacturer issues a recall on your vehicle, it’s your responsibility to take the vehicle to an authorized service center for the necessary repairs. Failure to do so might affect liability. If you are aware of a recall but continue to operate the vehicle without addressing the defect, your actions put you at risk and may affect liability.

Suppose you’re a third-generation owner, and you’re not aware of a recall and are injured due to a vehicle defect. In that case, liability remains with the manufacturer for the most part, but this will be little consolation if you and your family are injured due to a vehicle defect.

To wrap this up, if you or someone you love is ever injured due to a defect in your vehicle, please reach out to my office at 703-761-4343 and 301-949-1515.  With over forty years of experience handling personal injury claims, I’m ready to help in every way I can.

Until next time, please be safe, and NEVER text while driving!

Paul Samakow

Attorney Paul Samakow

WordPress Video Lightbox Plugin