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Know what to do if your car has a defect

Any car accident in Montana can be a frightening experience. Sometimes, a defect with the vehicle is the reason for the crash. At Cok Kinzler PLLP, we know how devastating these incidents can be, and we know whom to hold liable for the damages.

There are two basic situations in which you may discover that your vehicle has been recalled. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has the authority to issue a recall if the vehicle or its equipment either has a safety-related defect or if certain federal standards are not met.

If your vehicle has been recalled, you will receive a letter from the manufacturer. According to Consumer Reports, it is possible that it could take weeks or even months for the dealer to be able to make repairs on your car, especially if the recall involves a large number of vehicles. If the defect compromises your safety, the dealer should alert you to the issue, tow your car and provide you a rental to drive until your vehicle is ready.

If no recall has been issued but you suspect there is something amiss, contact both the manufacturer and the NHTSA immediately. Consumer Reports advises that you will need the following information ready: 

  •        The vehicle identification number
  •        The make, model and year of your vehicle
  •        A description of what you believe is wrong

The NHTSA will file the complaint. Once the agency has enough of the same complaints, it can issue a recall or take other action. Keep in mind that if your vehicle’s defect led to a crash, you are able to pursue a claim against the manufacturer to recover compensation for your damages.

For more information on this topic, please visit our page on auto defects.

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35 North Bozeman Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715

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