Auto Recalls Double The Record in 2014
Recognizing their potential liability, automakers are now issuing more recalls than ever before, and actually set a record for doing so in 2014. According to information from the Associated Press, there were 803 recalls affecting more than 64 million vehicles, far surpassing the previous record of 30.8 million in a single year.
General Motors Leads the Pack for most Recalls
Recalls of General Motors vehicles far surpassed those of other automakers, with GM accounting for 27 million total recalls. A good number of them were due to faulty ignitions that have allegedly resulted in 52 deaths to date. The faulty GM ignitions are believed to slip from “on” to “off” automatically, thereby disabling airbags and other safety equipment.
General Motors also recalled a number of other vehicles due to issues with airbags manufactured by Takata, a Japanese manufacturer. Faulty Takata airbags were also the cause of recalls from other automakers, including Toyota, Honda, Chrysler, Mazda, Nissan and BMW. To date, six fatalities have resulted from these faulty airbags, along with 64 injuries.
Not all recalls are large ones, as the smallest recall in 2014 involved only 139 vehicles. Maserati issued that recall due to improperly crimped fuel hoses that could potentially cause a fire hazard. Ford also issued a relatively small recall involving only 368 Transit Connect vans that contained improper labeling on their brake reservoirs.
Average Consumer Still Doesn’t Take Recalls Seriously
Despite the fact that 2014 saw a record number of automobile recalls, not all consumers take them seriously. According to an auto safety watchdog group, up to half of all automobile owners knowingly ignore recall notices. John Hollaran is the vice president of global automotive strategy for Stericycle Expert Solutions, a firm that helps automakers deal with recalls. He claims that many people do not respond to recalls because they do not believe the problem is important or feel that it is inconvenient for them to have repairs performed.
Whether or not an individual responds to a recall notice largely depends on the vehicle’s age and the amount of coverage a particular problem has received. A survey performed by the Society of Automotive Engineers in 2012 showed that owners of newer cars are more likely to respond. Issues that receive a great deal of press tend to spur people into action because they may perceive the problem as being more important.
Recognizing that many people do not respond to recall notices, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a number of solutions, including making phone calls, sending letters via FedEx, and smart phone apps that would notify owners whenever a recall is issued. There has also been some debate over whether or not differentiating between levels of risk could also be helpful.
The fact that there were a record number of automobile recalls in 2014 highlights the tremendous risk motorists face every day. If you have been injured in an accident due to a faulty automobile, the manufacturer could be considered negligent if the right steps were not taken to correct the default. Likewise, owners who knew of a recall but did not respond could also be found negligent. To preserve your rights, please speak with one of our experienced auto accident attorneys in Orlando or Lakeland as soon as possible.