Automobile Recalls And The San Diego Lemon Law
While understanding lemon law, it is also crucial to study vehicle recalls.
One thing about safety recalls that is the most interesting is that we spot very few Lemon Law cases based on them. There are some exceptions, of course. The people showed concern in an unanticipated acceleration in Toyota vehicles. But in the vast majority of cases, we hear nothing before or after a recall is issued. On the other hand, we often have many Lemon Law cases for the same issues on a particular vehicle where no recall is ever issued at all.
A recent article in Popular Mechanics does a beautiful job of explaining the problem at hand. In the past, there was no visible duty for manufacturers to issue a safety recall spontaneously. They only had to give one of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) required it. In 2000, a Federal law was passed in the United States, the TREAD Act, which needs manufacturers to proactively notify NHTSA of safety problems they have identified in their vehicles.
Failure to perform such could end up in significant penalties. To limit potential civil liability and prevent scrutiny from NHTSA, car companies started to proactively issue recalls for any potential safety concerns – even for problems that hardly ever take place.
From the San Diego Lemon Law perspective, what matters is whether a sufficient number of repairs (or days down for repair) have taken place during the two-year / eighteen thousand mile period of presumption. So the having a recall on your vehicle does not mean much, especially in the absence of actual repairs. Assuming there are several basic repairs, the presence of a safety recall might have some evidentiary weight.
Particularly in terms of the safety impact of a particular issue – which bears on the ‘substantialness’ defense that manufacturers raise. But the fact that a safety recall exists wouldn’t give rise to a San Diego Lemon Law claim in and of itself. The majority of the problems addressed by these safety recalls hardly ever take place in real life. Hence, it stands to reason that few Lemon Law cases could result from them.
So, in conclusion, while we keep an eye on safety recalls and often publicize them so that our clients are aware that they exist, we don’t always view them as necessarily helpful from a Lemon Law perspective. That said, if you are experiencing an actual issue with your vehicle, whether or not a safety recall has been issued, Scott Law Group P.C would be happy to look at your case to see if we can help you with your problem.
If you need a professional lemon lawyer for your case, contact us right away!