AUSTIN, Texas. As the government shutdown continues, government workers are being asked to return to work without pay, agencies are running only on what is considered essential services, and essential government services that do remain open are feeling the strain. NBC News reports that terminals in Houston’s airport have been closed, and other city terminals have also shut down as a result of TSA workers not showing up to work or calling in sick. Some experts have expressed concerns about the risks that the government shutdown might pose to personal safety. For example, according to the Detroit Free Press, the government shutdown has affected the operations of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While essential emergency services continue, the agency responsible for inspecting defective vehicles, reading consumer complaints, and issuing recalls is currently closed. This means that consumers may not hear about potential dangers their cars can pose. While car companies continue to have a responsibility to report known issues to the public, NHTSA recalls won’t be issued and current investigations will likely remain in limbo.
The NHTSA had been in the process of investigating several issues that could potentially pose a risk to the general public. The shutdown could put these investigations on hold. Because of the shutdown, the NHTSA’s website reports that no investigations have taken place in the last 30 days. However, there have been reports of issues that the agency had been investigating before the shutdown. For example, Fox News had recently reported on a “death wobble” that some Jeep drivers experienced when the vehicles reached certain speeds. It isn’t clear whether the wobble poses a risk to public safety, but the NHTSA had been looking into it. NBC News reported that Kia and Hyundai vehicles that had been previously recalled were spontaneously bursting into flames. Consumers had been pushing the companies to recall the vehicles, but the companies were awaiting the NHTSA’s investigation. In many cases, companies wait for the NHTSA to complete an investigation into issues where the origin of the cause isn’t always clear-cut. However, companies may often do this to cut costs, even when there is a known issue. Unfortunately, when companies delay recalls, injuries and accidents can occur.
Have you been injured because of what you believe to be a defect in your vehicle? If you have been hurt, you may have the right to pursue a defective product claim. While the NHTSA isn’t currently on the job, consumers can still report instances or issues they see with their vehicles. The Robson Law Firm are personal injury lawyers in Austin, Texas who work closely with individuals who have been hurt due to another person or party’s negligence or neglect. Our firm can take a close look at your case, help you understand your rights, and fight to help you get the best possible solution permitted under the law. Visit us at https://robsonlawfirm.com/ to learn more. Our attorneys are watching how the NHTSA’s recalls process is working. Already food inspectors have been called back to the job without pay over concerns that the public’s safety can be at increased risk due to foodborne illness. Will the NHTSA safety inspectors be called back to work soon? Only time will tell.
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