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Winter weather in Ohio and the chemicals and minerals that are used to clear our roadways can be unforgiving to our vehicles. In fact, the salt that is often used to melt snow and ice on our highways has been found to cause rusting in the brake lines of numerous makes and models, which can result in a loss of stopping power.
In response to this particular issue, the federal government recently issued a warning to drivers in Ohio to regularly have their vehicles washed.
Rusty brake lines were thrust into the spotlight in March of 2010 when a Middletown, Ohio, man reported his vehicle’s brake lines had rusted, causing a leak of brake fluid that led to a loss of the ability to stop the vehicle when it was in motion. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an investigation into the incident and found 3,645 similar complaints that had been made between 1999 and 2007. Of those complaints, 107 stated an accident had occurred and 40 reported injuries had occurred.
Five years later, the NHTSA has closed the investigation, stating the brake lines on the vehicles in question do not present a product liability issue. Instead, the problem is the result of salt buildup on the brake lines and undercarriage of the vehicle. The salt buildup can cause corrosion that, in turn, results in the failure of vehicle equipment.
An article from Cincinnati.com says that instead of initiating a recall, the NHTSA is encouraging owners of the potential 5 million affected vehicles to have the undercarriage of their car washed on a regular basis during winter months, especially after a heavy snow.
The Cleveland personal injury attorneys with Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy also urge motorists to have their vehicles inspected annually for signs of rust or corrosion under their vehicle.
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