Having an accident with a car that has a recall

In April 2024, Ford recalled over 450,000 SUVs and pick-up trucks due to a potential battery malfunction. The recall involves some 2021-2024 Bronco Sport SUVs and 2022-2023 Maverick trucks.

The problem? These vehicles may fail to detect a low battery charge, which could result in the power being cut off to the engine and other electrical elements while driving. When this happens, drivers may not be able to accelerate or maintain their speed, which could lead to a crash.

If you own one of these models, you should not delay in taking it to a Ford dealership for an inspection and possible repair.

On the other hand, if you were in an accident and learned that one of the vehicles involved in the incident was recalled, you may be especially upset. Below, we will discuss what a recall entails and what a vehicle owner should do if his or her automobile has a recall. We will also consider potential liability in a car accident with a recalled vehicle.

What Is a Vehicle Recall?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the car manufacturer may recall a specific vehicle if it is determined the car has an unreasonable safety risk or fails to meet minimum safety standards in some way.

Once a safety issue has been identified, the vehicle or parts manufacturer has an obligation to repair the problem, replace the defective component, offer a refund, or replace the entire vehicle. Further, manufacturers are required to notify registered vehicle owners of the defect and offer to resolve it free of charge.

A notice of recall should be sent to all known purchasers of the vehicle. The notice should explain the particular issue at hand, the possible dangers and crash risks, and how to have the car repaired. The NHTSA offers additional help through its vehicle recall webpage. There, you can search your vehicle identification number (VIN) to learn if there have been any safety recalls.

Even a minor defective part can pose a significant safety risk. Thus, it is critical to take vehicle recalls seriously and address the issue as soon as you are able.


Potential Liability in an Accident Involving a Recalled Vehicle

If a recalled car causes a crash, the question of liability can be complicated. Various factors will go a long way toward identifying the person or entity responsible for the accident (such as an active safety recall and whether the driver knew of the recall or defective part).

At times, there is clear evidence that a crash occurred as a direct result of a defective vehicle. In other instances, multiple parties may be partially at fault for the same accident.

The owner of the recalled vehicle

Motorists have the responsibility to maintain vehicle safety. Therefore, when a vehicle owner receives a recall notice, he or she is responsible for acting on it and scheduling the repair in a timely manner. Failing to do so can make that person liable when involved in an accident.

Factors that may impact a car owner’s liability after a collision involving a recalled vehicle include:

  • When the recall was issued
  • How much time passed between receiving the recall notice and the accident
  • Whether the vehicle owner received the recall notice
  • How the recall was made public
  • Specific details of the recalled part and the potential risks
  • How the manufacturer offered to fix the issue
  • Whether the notice clearly explained how the owner should make the needed repairs
  • Availability of parts or services to the vehicle owner

An experienced personal injury lawyer can investigate the circumstances of your accident and determine whether the vehicle owner’s failure to remedy known safety issues contributed to your crash.

The at-fault driver

Sometimes, a recalled vehicle’s defective part is the sole cause of an accident. At other times, a driver’s negligent or reckless behavior was a contributing factor. If the driver was speeding, ran a red light, or in some other way broke the law, he or she may be found partially liable for the collision – even when the vehicle was under an active recall notice.

The manufacturer of the recalled vehicle

Depending on the circumstances, the distributor or manufacturer of the faulty vehicle or part may be found primarily responsible for your losses in a collision. Most vehicle defect accidents fall under product liability law.

Much will depend on the extent to which the faulty part was responsible for the accident and if the vehicle had been properly recalled. The automaker will likely attempt to refute liability for an accident if the car owner knew – or reasonably should have known – about the defect due to an active recall being in place.

Product liability claims can be complex and time-consuming. If you believe a vehicle manufacturer may be liable for your car accident, it is in your best interest to consult a qualified personal injury attorney. He or she will understand all the laws relevant to your case and can use these to pursue just compensation for your losses.

Contact a New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer for Help

Unfortunately, car and truck component recalls are relatively common. Nevertheless, if you were hurt in an accident before a recalled vehicle part was fixed, you may be entitled to restitution for what you have gone through – but make sure to seek the help of an experienced attorney. This is no time to go it alone in the legal world.

The seasoned and empathetic car accident lawyers at Judd Shaw Injury Law are adept at resolving all types of accident claims, including those involving recalled vehicles. We hold parts manufacturers, automakers, other drivers, and third parties accountable when their products or actions harm others.

Having a dedicated personal injury lawyer on your side can give you the confidence you need to move forward with your claim. Our results-driven attorneys go above and beyond to support and defend injury and accident victims across New Jersey.

Please don’t wait to get the help you need. Contact Judd Shaw Injury Law at (866) 909-6894 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We believe every accident victim deserves a voice.

Zoom Screenshot_16.png

Content edited by personal injury attorney Judd Shaw. From the beginning, Judd established a set of Core Values laying out the pursuit for excellence in client service. He is a regular host of the Working The Wow podcast, with the belief that providing an exceptional client experience is just as important as delivering a quality service or product. You can find us in Red Bank and Tom‘s River, New Jersey.