2013 was a record year for motor vehicle recalls. The LA Times is reporting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NCHTSA) has released a list of total vehicles recalled in 2013. The article states the following:
Overall, automakers recalled almost 22 million cars last year, the NHTSA said. That was 34% higher than the previous year and the most since 30.8 million vehicles were recalled in 2004, according to agency.
The auto manufacturer with the highest number of recalls last year was Toyota, followed in a close second by Chrysler. Toyota's recall included a large number of Camrys, Avalons and Enzas because manufacturers discovered a defect that could lead to the airbag deploying or the power steering shutting down on the vehicle for no reason. One of the reasons why so many vehicles had to be recalled for the same issue is because Toyota uses the same parts for many different models of vehicles. This is a good way of keeping vehicle prices low, but also can be dangerous if one of them is defective.
Recalls are performed when a company discovers that something about their product is inherently dangerous that should not be. While all manufacturers are capable of recalling, it seems auto companies perform some of the largest. This is likely because they are an extremely common product that also has the potential to be very dangerous if even one component is not 100% reliable. For example, Chrysler also had to recall about 2.7 million Jeep SUVs because they discovered a risk of fire when the vehicles were rear-ended. This is an extremely dangerous to defect.
The LA Times article also talks about the fact that low recall numbers do not necessarily mean safer vehicles. The number of recalls is usually based on how popular a car company is. The more vehicles they sell in the country, the more they will need to recall. Despite the fact that Toyota ranks highest for recalls in 2013, it also is highly rated in consumer reports magazine. In addition, recalls are not always a summary of trouble within the company. When a manufacturer discovers an error that could be potentially harmful, the responsible thing to do is to issue a recall. If a company never recalls their products, it is likely because they are not continuing to safety check what they produce and are leaving it up to the customers to discover any potential dangers.
The mention of recalls leads to a number of personal injury issues. When a person is hurt by a vehicle defect, even if a recall has been performed, they can still hold the manufacturer responsible for their injuries. If a person is injured by a vehicle but the vehicle that was not recalled, this could lead to even more issues such as was is the company aware of the defect but negligent in recalling it. Anyone injured in an accident they believe was caused by a defective vehicle, should contact a New Hampshire personal injury attorney as soon as possible to find out more about their rights.