The State of Maryland recently became the first state using its vehicle registration system to notify car owners of recalls involving their vehicle.
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Jim Ports, deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, told WTOP Maryland is the first state offering this service.
“We are proud to be leading that charge,” Ports said.
The state will run the vehicle identification numbers of all registered Maryland vehicles through a recall database before sending out registration renewal notices. Car owners whose vehicles have active recalls will be notified along with their vehicle registration reminder.
WTOP’s Mike Murillo reported the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) funded the program via a $222,300 grant. The NHTSA recently reported 1 in 3 cars on the road have unfixed recalls, spurring the agency’s outreach efforts.
“That’s serious if you think about it,” said NHTSA Chief Counsel Jonathan Morrison. “It’s a threat to vehicle owners, passengers and others on the road.”
Carfax recently issued a statement saying more than 57 million vehicles in the U.S. are still on American roadways despite having unfixed recalls. California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and New York have the most recalled vehicles still on the road.
Morrison spoke during a program launch event at an Annapolis area Motor Vehicle Administration service center saying Maryland’s efforts should be congratulated.
“The good thing is the Motor Vehicle Administration has addresses and contact information for every Maryland resident,” said MVA Administrator Christine Nizer. “So we want to use that information to get that important safety recall to our drivers.”
Car manufacturers routinely send car owners recall notices. However those notices often don’t reach their intended recipients because owners move or resell the vehicles.
Ports said open recalls won’t prevent owners from renewing their registration. However he hopes official recall notices from the state will spur owners into action.
“These recalls are fixed for free, so you can’t beat the price,” Ports said.
Your vehicle’s manufacturer is legally required to fix any recalled problems for free. If the dealership refuses to fix the part or tries to charge you for the repair, contact the manufacturer immediately. The Highway Safety Act of 1970, which created the NHTSA, requires car manufacturers to pay for the recall and replacement of a defective part.
If the manufacturer fails to repair, replace, repurchase, or provide your recalled vehicle’s loss value, they are violating the warranty and a lawyer may be able to help you.
Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.