Corries Solicitors - Personal Injury Specialists - FREEPHONE 0800 655 6550
Vehicle recalls are becoming more common. We ask – is your car safe and what can you do to protect you and your family.
Most of us use roads on a daily basis, to commute, to socialise and to go about our day-to-day business. Road safety is a major concern for us all.
Statistics and Campaigns
Road traffic accidents and deaths are reducing year on year in Europe. In 2016 there were 51 road deaths per million EU inhabitants. There was a 2% decrease in the number of deaths between 2015 and 2016. In the UK we fare better than the EU average with less than 30 road traffic deaths per million inhabitants (read more of the statistics here).
Any road death is one death too many. We see regular campaigns such as
- to reduce speed (see brake),
- stop people using their mobile phones while driving (such as Think);
- anti drink driving campaigns such as ‘a mate doesn’t let a mate drink drive’ (more info here).
One thing that is seldom discussed is the safety of the vehicles involved in any accidents. We ask what the manufacturers can be doing to help you keep safe.
As specialist product liability solicitors we are concerned about the ever increasing number of manufacturer vehicle recalls.
Since January 2018 it is noteworthy just how many motor vehicles have faced recall notices with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (check for yourself here).
There have been recall notices from many major manufactures covering different makes, models and faults. Some recalls include:
- Mercedes Benz vans and cars (various models) with numerous faults. These include the retaining ring of the front bearing being incorrectly located or the passenger seat occupancy sensing system malfunctioning;
- Peugeot and Renault vehicles with engine components manufactured out of specification;
- Scania trucks with incorrectly tightened torque;
- John Deeres various models with ‘steering may fail’;
- Fords of various models with a propensity for engine cylinder head cracks; and
- Many more!
The potential for a defective vehicle to result in a crash which causes injury to drivers, passengers and other road users is obvious. We welcome vehicle recalls as a sign that manufacturers are taking their legal safety requirements seriously. Furthermore that they are, monitoring situations and looking to remedy any errors is good news. However, the sheer volume of recall notices in the first quarter of this year is a major concern. The fact that vehicles are allowed to leave the production line without proper checks is worrying.
Our Experience – Too Close For Comfort
Here at Corries Solicitors, defective vehicles are of major personal concern. Our own Director and head of the product liability team, Mark Dawson, had his own near catastrophic experience as a result of a defective vehicle.
Like many, Mark and his family were on holiday driving to their holiday in the South of France in their own vehicle. They were travelling on a very busy Sunday afternoon which happened to be a French bank holiday. At the time the motorway was very busy. Mark was travelling at a speed of around 70mph in the fast lane of the motorway.
Suddenly his vehicle began to lose power and steering control. Luckily he was approaching an ‘aire’ (motorway rest stop) and fought to get his vehicle into the side road. At this point all steering and power ceased. His vehicle became a sitting duck. Thankfully in this situation there was no vehicle collision but the potential for a serious accident was huge and frightening.
What happened next?
A collision was avoided but for Mark and his family the nightmare in many ways had only just begun. There were two weeks of considerable trouble and expense to repatriate Mark, his family and his vehicle to the UK. The timing belt on Mark’s vehicle had failed some 20,000 miles before it was due for a change. The reason for the timing belt failure remained a mystery until Mark and his wife undertook some research. It transpired that this particular vehicle had a fault that made the timing belt vulnerable to water based wear and corrosion.
This vehicle had been subject to a DVSA recall notice for further engineering work to fix the specific timing belt issue. However, no such notification of a recall had been sent to Mark and his family. After much work and to-ing and fro-ing between Mark and the manufacturer the lack of notification was conceded by the manufacturer who paid the full engine repair costs.
Mark and his family never made it to their relaxing family holiday. Ultimately they did not end up much out of pocket but the near miss and potential for a fatal collision ruined the holiday.
What can you do to protect yourself?
Because Corries have a dedicated team of road traffic accident specialists (find out more about them here) we firmly support any road traffic accident prevention campaigns. We recognise, however, that not all road traffic accidents are caused by driver error.
We would urge you to double check the DVSA website, here, to ensure that your vehicle has not been subject to a recall. If your vehicle has been recalled then please immediately follow the recommendations. You do not want to put yourself or other road users at risk.
How can we help?
Corries Solicitors have a dedicated team of specialist product liability solicitors. Therefore we are leading experts in product defect claims.
Our team of enthusiastic and highly trained specialists have a proven track record of dealing with high profile litigation. We are not scared off by big companies or insurers. Corries have been successful with claims for PIP faulty breast implants, faulty metal on metal hips and other failed products.
If you have been injured as a result of a vehicle defect then call us now on FREEPHONE 0800 655 6550.