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The Dangerous Effects of Ignoring a Vehicle Recall

December 15, 2016

Ignoring a Vehicle Recall Can Affect More than Your Safety

According to a January 2016 article, which cited statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2015 was a record-setting year in terms of the number of vehicles subject to a recall. More specifically, NHTSA statistics (as cited in the article) showed that over 50 million vehicles were subject to at least one recall in 2015 – the highest number of recalls in a single year. More troubling is NHTSA's estimate that in any given year approximately 25 percent of recalled vehicles are never taken in for repairs or replacement parts. If this estimate is true, then this means that in 2015 alone over 12 million vehicles that had potentially-dangerous defects were not repaired.

When you receive a vehicle recall notice in the mail directing you to take your vehicle in for inspection and repair, you may at first be reluctant to do so. Even though the repairs are free in most every case, it can be a hassle to find the time to drop your vehicle off at an authorized mechanic. The inconvenience may be multiplied if you must leave your car with the mechanic for several days. Despite these inconveniences and hassles, however, there are many good reasons to heed the recall notice.

Your Safety and the Safety of Others is at Stake

The first (and probably the most compelling) reason to follow the instructions contained in your recall notice is because the safety of yourself, your family, and others on the road may be at stake. The effects of a manufacturing or design defect can appear suddenly and without warning.  For example, you may not notice that your own vehicle has a braking system defect until you are traveling on the highway and need to use your brakes to avoid a collision.

Legal Ramifications of Failing to Repair a Recalled Vehicle

Failing to repair your recalled vehicle can also have negative legal ramifications as well. Your decision to forego repairs may be considered a careless act, which can limit your ability to recover compensation in the event your vehicle's defects contributed to the crash and your injuries. At worst, driving a defective vehicle may be considered a reckless act. If this defect leads to an injury crash or a fatal traffic collision, you can be held responsible for the injuries and financial losses experienced by other motorists (even if you had reason to believe that your car was not affected by the defect referenced in the recall notice).

Do not ignore auto recall notices. Instead, be certain to have your vehicle properly serviced as soon as possible if you receive a recall notice in the mail. Your legal rights and (more importantly) your health and safety may be in jeopardy if you choose to ignore these notices. 

Put Our Law Firm's Over 38 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case Today!

Determining whether a car defect contributed to your crash and injuries can require a significant investment of time and investigative resources, so be certain to contact the Georgia car crash law firm of Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law. Our knowledgeable Atlanta car crash attorneys can help you determine your legal rights following a car wreck, including informing you whether you may have a viable claim for compensation against a driver who chose to drive a defective vehicle. Our firm has over 38 years of experience in representing car accident victims across Georgia and in the Southeast. Contact us to schedule your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.


Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333
Toll Free:   1 (800) LAW-NEED
Hours: Open Today · Open 24 hours

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Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.