Many Vehicle Safety Recall Problems Never Repaired
Safety recalls have dominated the auto industry news over the last 18 months with millions of vehicles being recalled because of defects ranging from defective ignition switches to exploding airbags. In 2013, 22 million vehicles were recalled in 632 total recalls according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Both were substantial increases from 2012 when 581 recalls were implemented that included nearly 16. 4 million vehicles. During 2013, Toyota® was the vehicle manufacturer with the most recalls covering 5.3 million vehicles. The vehicle recall situation was so bad that the auto industry recalled more cars than it sold in 2013.
However, the recall numbers for 2014 look even worse with GM’s faulty ignition switch dominating the news. As of September 8, 2014, GM had already recalled 29 million vehicles during 2014 with many of the recalls involving older vehicles that GM® no longer manufactures. GM® announced 65 recalls over the first seven months of 2014. These recalls included the highest profile recall involving a fault ignition switch that has been linked to at least 13 fatalities.
Although the issue of vehicle recalls involving safety issues impacts a growing number of vehicle owners, many people do not realize their car, truck or SUV is subject to recall, or they fail to get their vehicle repaired. The massive number of recalls has dulled public attention, so many people simply dismiss or ignore recall information. CarFax®, an online service that tracks vehicle histories, reports that 36 million vehicles on U.S. roadways have at least one recall issue that has not been corrected. Some of these ignored recall issues are potentially deadly. Further, the NHTSA reports that one in four vehicles have a recall issue will never be repaired.
Although not every recall is related to a safety issue that might cause a car accident resulting in serious injury or death, some ignored recalls do involve serious safety concerns. Because there have been so many recalls, many car owners tune out media stories about vehicle recall issues. When vehicle owners receive recall notices in the mail, they often discard the envelope because they presume it contains solicitation materials from the vehicle manufacturer. Some vehicle owners simply decide that they do not need to worry about recall issues because they have not experienced any past problems.
The reality is that people can and do die in crashes involving issues related to safety recalls. Vehicle recall notices are clearly marked on the outside of the envelope. These notices should be reviewed carefully. In most cases, the manufacturer of the vehicle will repair the problem free of charge. The notice will provide instructions about how to get the problem fixed, which typically entails taking the vehicle back to the dealer.
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If your or a family member suffers injury in an auto or truck collision, or experiences more serious injury caused by a vehicle defect, you might have a right to pursue a product defect claim. The accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.