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Report indicates RV manufacturer withheld injury data

Karns & Kerrison

Recreational vehicles are intended for extended road trips and are generally quite large and heavy. As such, they cannot afford to have safety defects. The manufacturers of these vehicles should be held accountable for making sure they are built to very high safety standards.

The Office of Defects Investigation for the National Highway and Traffic Administration is tasked with making sure that production problems for all vehicles are properly addressed. Unfortunately, a new report and accompanying senate hearing indicate that the organization is having difficulty keeping up with its workload.

According to the report, the defects investigation office is plagued with systemic problems. The office is said to be both undermanned and underfunded. Further, one senator said the audit indicates the office has been seriously mismanaged.

In one case, a major manufacturer of recreation vehicles allegedly failed to submit a report containing death and injury information. Although the failure to report occurred in 2004, the issue was not addressed by the defects investigation office for nearly a decade. This may mean that there was a delay in responding to serious problems with the RVs being manufactured by that company.

Therefore, it is possible that RVs with safety defects could have been rolling onto U.S. highways unimpeded by proper government oversight. A recreational vehicle with unknown defects could pose grave danger to both its occupants and for all others on the road. A sudden mechanical malfunction could lead to a collision, causing serious injuries and extensive property damage.

Regardless of a lack of governmental oversight, automakers are responsible for the safety of their vehicles and should be held accountable if they allow potentially dangerous vehicles to leave their factories. If you have been involved in a recreational vehicle accident that you believe was due to mechanical defects, you may wish to seek the legal aid of a Rhode Island motor vehicle accident attorney.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Watchdog's warning: Safety inspectors can't spot the next major vehicle problem," Colin Diersing, June 23, 2015

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