Chicago attorney Howard Ankin supports the recent decision by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make recall mailings more noticeable. The NHTSA recently announced a new rule that went into effect on Feb. 18 that requires all critical recall mailings to have a bright red notice on the outside envelope. The label is designed to help car owners differentiate important recall information from everyday junk mail.
The director of the NHTSA said in the announcement that recalls only work if car owners take the appropriate action. Often, he said, notices are sent out in nondescript envelopes, making it easy for consumers to confuse the notices with junk. In doing so, they may miss the opportunity to have a serious defect repaired.
While many recalls are for defects that some may not consider critical, other recalls are vital to the basic operation and safety of the car. General Motors recently recalled more than one million vehicles over a defect in the ignition. GM says the ignition can accidentally switch out of the “Run” position, which can cause the engine to shut down. The issue has led to numerous accidents and 13 confirmed deaths.
Howard Ankin, of The Ankin Law Office in Chicago, says that recalls can often be a matter of life and death. Issues that can cause a car to stop running or disrupt a car’s critical functions can lead to serious car accidents, especially on highways when the car may be travelling at a high speed. He supports any action that helps make consumers more aware of issues with their vehicles.
With a growing number of car buyers reporting that their new vehicle models are giving them more problems than before, it is important to keep a lookout for recalls like the massive General Motors recall of 2014. Howard Ankin encourages car owners to make use of the SaferCar app that is available on Android and Apple devices. The app notifies drivers of recalls and safety updates. It also helps consumers sort five-star safety data when shopping for a new car.