I feel the same as the car owner I interviewed. If something is faulty on my car (and I didn't do anything to contribute to it and it's a defect), I don't think I should foot the bill! But unless the car's under warranty or you want to file a lawsuit, it doesn't appear that there's any mandate or agency that makes a car manufacturer fix it.
However, manufacturers do put out what's called "Service Bulletins" when something needs to be fixed. Those go to their dealers so the mechanics can know what to look for. Click here for a link to search service bulletins for your car.