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Car Owners Worry As Pandemic Delays Repair Of Safety Recalls

car safety recall covid-19 coronavirus personal injury

Car owners impacted by auto recalls are suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report has shown. As auto and parts manufacturers struggle to develop solutions to many of the recalls issued recently due to pandemic-related restrictions, drivers are exposed to accident and injury risks. 

In an article for a local news outlet in Phoenix, Arizona, a reporter highlighted the story of one of these drivers, whose 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee could stall without warning at any given moment. 

To the driver, the dangers associated with crashing a vehicle with a defective engine are very real. Unfortunately, Fiat Chrysler is not working fast enough to repair all Grand Cherokee vehicles. 

According to a spokesperson for the automaker, while the recall was issued in December 2019, the coronavirus pandemic “delayed the process for accumulating inventory of the replacement part.” Because manufacturing the needed parts takes time, he added, policies implemented during the pandemic made it more difficult for manufacturers to have the process carried out fast enough. As a result, impacted car owners have been waiting for months to get their vehicles fixed.

When asked about this situation, the executive director of the consumer watchdog organization Center for Auto Safety told reporters that while there isn’t a standard time for recall repairs to be completed following a recall, impacted vehicle owners should not be forced to wait for several months. 

As car owners wait for a fix, he added, equipment failure may lead to accidents that could expose them to personal injury.  

“These can be life and death situations,” he added.

Carfax: Millions Of Vehicles On U.S. Roads Have Open Recalls

Even when automakers work fast to provide car owners with a remedy to an equipment issue, not all vehicles get fixed.

According to research carried out by Carfax, over 55 million vehicles across the country still have open recalls. In many cases, researchers found, that is due to the fact that drivers simply are not aware that their cars have any issues. 

While car safety advocates urge drivers to visit SaferCar.gov to check for any open recalls, car makers are also required to contact impacted car owners when recalls are launched. If you are a car owner and you wonder whether your vehicle is at risk due to an open recall, make sure that the automaker has your updated contact information. 

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