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New NHTSA mail notification on recall letters
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has introduced a new distinctive label that will be required to be affixed on all recall letters. The agency suggests many recall notices are mistakenly discarded by recipients, however the new label aims to prevent companies from purposely or accidentally disguising safety notices as junk mail.
“Recalls only work if consumers are aware of them,” said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox. “This new label will allow consumers to quickly recognize recall notices mailed to their homes so they can act quickly to get their vehicles, child restraints, tires, or other motor vehicle equipment fixed.”
The new label includes a red bar that alerts of “Important Safety Recall Information,” with logos for the NHTSA and the US Department of Transportation to help distinguish the official contents.
The agency notes that the label is “strictly limited” to use by recalling manufacturers, in an attempt to prevent the standardized label from being used by misleading sales and marketing materials. Federal regulators promise to work with the FTC and state authorities to enforce the regulations.
GM has issued a recall for 778,562 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 cars sold in North America.
The company suggests a defective ignition switch has been found to occasionally shut down the engine and disable electrical components, including the airbags, while the vehicle is underway. Heavy key rings or bumps in the road are said to be contributing factors.
Affected vehicles are known to have been involved in six front-seat fatalities from five front-impact crashes, along with another 17 accidents with nonfatal injuries, according to a Reuters report. In all cases the airbags failed to deploy, though GM argues that alcohol and failure to wear seatbelts were contributing factors in several fatalities.