GM Website May Offer Misleading Recall Information to Vehicle Owners
If you own a General Motors (GM) vehicle, and you checked the company's website to see if your car or truck is part of an active recall, you may have received a misleading result. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the GM website's "VIN look-up" tool was not working properly. Though GM has promised to resolve the issue, vehicle owners are urged to double-check their VIN numbers.
NHTSA warned consumers Friday that it had determined the automaker's vehicle identification number (VIN) look-up tool was providing "incorrect and misleading results" to some vehicle owners. The issue was apparently linked to recalled vehicles that did not yet have replacement parts available. If a vehicle owner entered the VIN number of a vehicle that was included in an active recall but the part was not available, they may receive a result that said their vehicle was not included in a recall.
This is a potentially dangerous situation, considering the millions of vehicles GM has recalled so far this year, for a range of issues linked to faulty ignition switches, seatbelts, power steering, airbags and more. GM has recalled more than 25 million so far in 2014 and has been the subject of federal investigations, civil lawsuits and a considerable amount of scrutiny for their handling of recalls specifically affecting ignition switch defects that allow a key to turn from the "on" or "run" position to "off" while a vehicle is being used.
GM recalled about 1.6 million vehicles in February, 970,000 vehicles in March, 2.6 million vehicles in April and more than 12 million vehicles in June, all for ignition switch defects. What is troubling about these recalls is that they came about a decade too late. Internal GM documents show that the ignition switch problem was first noted back in 2001, and yet the automaker did nothing to recall the millions of vehicles that were potentially affected. GM has associated 13 deaths with the defect, but plaintiffs' trial attorneys believe the actual number of fatalities, accidents and injuries to be much higher.
The automaker has recalled millions of other vehicles for a variety of other defects since the ignition switch defect spurred a federal probe into the company and its handling of recalls. GM has changed the way it addresses potential problems and resulting recalls, but this latest issue with their website makes one wonder whether the company's efforts are enough to prevent further harm.
In addition to re-checking the GM website and using their VIN look-up tool to see if your vehicle is included in a recall, you can check the NHTSA website for the latest recall information. All you have to do is enter your vehicle year, make and model and you will be provided with a list of recalls (if any) that may affect your vehicle. Click here to use the NHTSA's SaferCar.gov tool . SaferCar.gov also allows you to sign up for email or text alerts with the latest vehicle recalls, so you can stay up-to-date on these important matters.
For additional information and insight regarding vehicle defects and your rights as an injured consumer, now is the time for a confidential consultation with a San Diego personal injury lawyer at the McClellan Law Firm. Product liability, namely involving automotive defects, is a primary focus of our firm. We have successfully brought lawsuits against GM and other automakers, including Porsche, Toyota, Chrysler and Isuzu and are widely considered the "go-to" firm for auto defect cases. Founding attorney Craig McClellan was even named the 2014 San Diego Best Lawyers Product Liability Litigation Lawyer of the Year. Call today to see how we can help you.