Last year saw the highest number of vehicle recalls in almost a decade. In 2004, there were 30.8 million cars recalled. In 2013, 22 million cars were recalled, up from 16.4 million in 2012. The majority of recalls last year happened when manufacturers identified serious safety problems and voluntarily took the cars off the road for repairs.
When cars are sold with defects, there is always the possibility that drivers could suffer serious injuries and the car manufacturers could be held liable for resulting losses. Those hurt by a defective vehicle should contact personal injury lawyers in Delaware Valley. Product liability lawyers at Flager & Associates, PC offer free consultations to victims.
Defects Lead to 2013 Vehicle Recalls
Since 1966, the United States federal government has mandated that automakers recall vehicles that have defects. Over the nearly half-century that the recall requirements have been in effect, 540.8 million vehicle recalls have occurred.
Altogether, there were 632 separate recall incidents last year. Toyota was the car manufacturer that had the most recalls, which makes 2013 the second year in a row that Toyota has had this dubious honor. There were several primary issues that caused Toyotas to be recalled. One problem was that electronic interference could cause air bags in some Toyota’s to deploy when no accident occurred. Other models of Toyota vehicles also had air bags deploying improperly, but this time because of drain holes blocked by spider webs.
Toyota’s other issues related to 78,000 vehicles with suspension problems. These vehicles had actually already been recalled in 2012. The vehicles with the faulty suspensions had been repaired, but were recalled again since the first effort at repair was not always effective.
Chrysler was the carmaker with the second highest number of recalls in 2013. The car company recalled 1.7 million older Jeep Liberty and Jeep Cherokee models. The recall was prompted by concerns expressed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about a potential risk of fire in rear-impact collisions.
Investigations initiated by the NHTSA prompted around seven million of the total number of vehicles recalled in 2013. Recall of the remaining 15 million vehicles was undertaken when manufacturers realized a problem existed with the cars they had sold.
Manufacturers should act quickly to alert the public to risks and remove defective cars from the road until repair is possible. Recalled vehicles are repaired or replaced by the manufacturer at no cost to the consumer, in most cases.
Unfortunately, sometimes both the carmakers and NHTSA do not act to recall products quickly enough, and people get hurt. Rather than waiting to repair products when something goes wrong, it is far better to do adequate pre-marketing testing to make sure that the vehicles aren’t dangerous in the first place. The NHTSA can encourage this through regulations, and carmakers can make the choice to put safety first and ensure they do everything they can to avoid releasing potentially defective cars.
Flager & Associates, PC can help collision victims. Call a car accident lawyer in Delaware Valley at 215-953-5200 or visit www.flagerlaw.com today to schedule a consultation.