New Report Indicating 45 Million Vehicles Subject to Recalls Remain Unrepaired
Although traffic safety has many dimensions, vehicle maintenance constitutes an important part of reducing the risk of serious traffic accidents. If you change your oil, rotate your tires, replace your brake pads, and check all fluids, your vehicle may still pose a serious safety risk according to a recent NBC report. The report indicates that approximately one in six licensed motorists in the U.S. drives a motor vehicle that has an outstanding safety recall issue. In other words, 45 million vehicles traveling U.S. roadways have a product defect serious enough to merit a recall of the vehicle... and they remain uncorrected. If this is not alarming enough, the number of vehicles constituting disasters waiting to happen could be much higher because J.D. Power and Associates' reports that tracking compliance rates on older recalls presents a serious challenge. Our Atlanta car accident lawyers want to call attention to this issue because many vehicle owners have no idea they are driving an unsafe vehicle.
Our Georgia auto accident lawyers recognize that a litany of reasons exist that explain why so many vehicles on our roads have safety defects which have gone unrepaired. The substantial number of safety recalls in recent years, along with the high volume of vehicles affected, indicates an important explanation for unresolved problems. In recent times, a record number of vehicles have been involved in recalls related to a wide range of safety issues that include, among others:
- Exploding airbags that propel shrapnel into the passenger compartment
- Improperly inflated tires
- Vehicles prone to corrosion with bumpers detaching and falling into the roadway
- Gas tanks leaking fuel
- Faulty ignition switches
Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has pushed for 100 percent compliance rates for safety recalls, the actual results have been far lower. According to the NBC News report, the NHTSA often finds 70 percent compliance acceptable and frequently sees compliance rates drop as low as 30 percent.
Another reason why many defects are never addressed is that consumers frequently are unaware that their vehicle is unsafe. Vehicle owners sometimes do not receive notice of a recall because they have moved or for other reasons. Automakers in other cases might intentionally delay implementation of a safety recall.
When older vehicles are the subject of a product recall, the age of the vehicle also can interfere with the recall compliance rate. Implementation of the recall entails locating vehicle owners. If a significant time has passed since the dealer initially sold the vehicle, a car might have passed hands one or more additional times. The involvement of multiple owners over a number of years increases the probability that notice of the recall will not find its way to the current owner.
While lower compliance rates often involve product defects that seem relatively minor, all safety issues that warrant a recall need to addressed to maximize vehicle safety. For example, Honda was subject to a recall on door stickers for certain vehicles that specified proper tire inflation rates. Although replacing a sticker might seem to be a minor issue, improperly inflated tires can contribute to fatal crashes caused by tire blowouts, loss of vehicle control, and road departures.
However, the failure to remedy vehicle defects has not been limited only to so-called "minor" problems. Although faulty ignition switches in General Motors (GM) vehicles have been linked to hundreds of fatal collisions, many vehicle owners have failed to bring their vehicle in to their local service center to have the problem fixed. Reportedly, GM has resorted to offering gifts to vehicle owners as an incentive to bring their vehicle in to repair the problem.
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Our experienced auto accident injury lawyers in Georgia are dedicated to pursuing the fullest monetary recovery for our clients within the bounds of the law. The law firm of Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in 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.
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