If you live in the U.S., there’s a good chance you’re driving a car with a defect that could cause a car accident or cause injuries in the event of an accident… and it’s a car that would have been recalled and fixed if you lived outside the U.S.
The New York Times just released findings of an investigation showing that car companies – in dozens of instances – skirted recalls here but not in foreign countries for identical safety problems.
In 2000, the U.S. Congress enacted a law called the Tread Act. That act “requires that vehicle manufacturers report to the National Highway & Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) when it conducts a safety recall or other safety campaign in a foreign country. Vehicle manufacturers are also required to report information related to defects, reports of injury or death related to its products, as well as other relevant data in order to comply with “Early Warning” requirements. Finally, there is criminal liability where a vehicle manufacturer intentionally violates the new reporting requirements when a safety-related defect has subsequently caused death or serious bodily injury.”
So if there is a law requiring reports of safety defects and foreign recalls – why do dangerous cars remain on our roads?
That is a question still seeking an adequate answer. Part of the problem lies with the NHTSA and lax supervision. Part of it lies with car companies seeking to protect profits before customers. And some of the discrepancy is tied to the fact that safety laws vary a bit depending on the country – allowing car makers to ignore safety problems in the U.S. that they know cause accidents.
Is it really possible that profit motives trump consumer safety, that car companies would willfully ignore dangerous safety risks to families?
Sadly yes. And this year has seen all too many instances when those choices led to catastrophic car accidents and loss of life.
Here’s an enduring truth… our justice system has often proved to be the only mechanism available to adequately protect consumers.
The lawyers at the Hartford law firm of RisCassi & Davis have handled many car accident cases over our nearly 60 years serving the people of Connecticut. And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in this area.
Please contact us if we can help you. The consultation is free and there is no obligation of any kind. And – there is no fee or other costs unless we are successful on your behalf.