Who’s responsible if you get injured in a recalled vehicle?

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Each year, millions of cars across the country are recalled for minor, or major, safety defects. But depending on how you handle that recall notice could determine who is responsible if someone gets hurt.

Mike Jordan with the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin said even if you’ve called the dealership and were told you had to wait weeks to get the replacement part, often times you won’t be held responsible if something happens in the meantime.

“Our belief is that most of the time courts are going to still hold the manufacturer responsible up to the point of the time the person could have reasonably gotten the car repaired,” he said.

However, if you ignore the recall notice, or do nothing, responsibility will likely fall on you if anything happens.

“If you don’t make a reasonable attempt to mitigate the chance for injury, then you become responsible as well for it if it does happen,” Jordan said.

But according to Matt Murchison, sales manager at Greenville Nissan, people ignoring recall notices isn’t uncommon. He said often times they will look through reports on the car and find recalls that haven’t been taken care of.

To reduce the amount of time people have to wait to get their car repaired, he said his dealership likes to stay proactive.

“We make sure all our technicians are available and preparing ourselves and making sure we have all the parts as well,” Murchison said.

WNCT called other dealerships in the east and was told by Riverside Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram in New Bern that one customer has to wait until 2019 until the recalled part is available for his truck.

While waits like that aren’t common, the best advice is to call your dealership to make sure you understand what is going on with your vehicle.

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