A motor vehicle or item of a motor vehicle is recalled when the equipment does not comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. This recall is instituted when there is a defect in the vehicle or equipment.
The United States Code for Motor Vehicle Safety (Title 49, Chapter 301) defines motor vehicle safety as “the performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in a way that protects the public against unreasonable risk of accidents occurring because of the design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle, and against unreasonable risk of death or injury in an accident, and includes nonoperational safety of a motor vehicle.” A defect includes “any defect in performance, construction, a component, or material of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment.” Generally, a safety defect is defined as a problem that exists in a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment that:
- poses an risk to motor vehicle safety, and
- may exist in a group of vehicles of the same design or manufacture, or items of equipment of the same type and manufacture.