If a used car dealership said they fixed recalled airbags but you find out they didn’t can you sue them?

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If a used car dealership said they fixed recalled airbags but you find out they didn’t can you sue them?

My fianc was just in a car accident
where the airbags in the car should have
deployed, however they did not. The
dealership said that they had fixed the
recall and we even check the car fax and
it said it was fixed, but again the
light on the dash says they deployed
however they didnt. What should we do?

Asked on February 4, 2018 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Prior to filing a lawsuit against the auto dealership for negligence, it may be possible to settle the case with the dealership's insurance carrier.
You did not say whether your fiance was injured in the accident.
Whether or not he was injured, he should notify the dealership's insurance carrier in writing of his claim (property damage, personal injury or both).
If he was injured in the accident because the airbags failed to deploy, when he completes his  medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in his medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, he should obtain his medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.  His personal injury claim filed with the dealership's insurance carrier should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document his injuries and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the auto dealership's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If he is dissatisfied with settlement offers from that insurance carrier, your fiance should reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the auto dealership.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable auto dealership would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
If the case is NOT settled, the lawsuit against the dealership must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your fiance will lose his rights forever in the matter.
If the case is property damage (cost of repairs to the car) only, that is usually settled with the insurance carrier without filing a lawsuit.  If your fiance is dissatisfied with settlement offers for property damage, he should reject them and file a lawsuit for negligence against the auto dealership.  
 


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