It's a nightmare scenario: your car door suddenly opens while navigating a turn, curve, or roundabout. You or a passenger in your car can fall out and make contact with the pavement. You can even be struck by another car.
If you own a Volvo S60 sedan or V60 wagon manufactured from June 2, 2010 through December 31, 2016, this scenario could become a reality, according to Consumer Reports. Volvo is recalling 144,937 of these cars due to this dangerous defect.
Doors can unexpectedly open while car is in motion
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns that the car doors can open unexpectedly. This can happen even when they are tightly shut. The culprit is a defective door latch mechanism that can break during extremely hot weather. Several complaints from car owners were submitted to the NHTSA, prompting the recall.
All owners of these Volvo models will be notified of the recall by January 24, 2020. They will also be provided with a list of Volvo dealers in their area. These dealerships can make repairs for free. The fix will involve the installation of redesigned door latches for all four doors.
How can I protect myself?
If you have already purchased a new or used car, or plan on purchasing one, it's best to stay informed. Problems caused by unrepaired recalls can result in serious and fatal collisions.
Drivers can search for potential recalls by locating their 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) and entering it into the NHTSA's website. You'll see a message that reads "0 Unrepaired recalls associated with this VIN" if your car has no open recalls.
If your car does have an open recall, you will see a list of defects and dealerships in your area that can repair for free.
If you purchased a new car and have noticed any dangerous defects, you can report them to the NHTSA by filling out a 5-step form. You must include all necessary documentation regarding your complaint, including photos and a police report. The NHTSA reviews all complaints, some of which are investigated.
What are my options if a car defect caused my crash?
If you were hurt in a crash caused by a mechanical defect, you will need a strong legal advocate on your side. One who can thoroughly investigate if your car came with a dangerous defect. If you weren't aware of it, the manufacturer or dealership must be held accountable.
If you're not sure what your legal options are in this case, it's best to speak to an experienced car accident attorney. The Virginia attorneys at Davis, Davis, Davis & Davis, PC offer free case evaluations. We can sit down with you, go over the details of your crash and explore your legal options. To learn how we can help you, don't hesitate to contact us online.