Delays in Recalls are Keeping Dangerous Cars on the Road
When cars, trucks and motorcycles are recalled we expect the dangerous defect to be fixed. However, the official figures expose the idea of a seamless and safe repair as a fiction.
Recently the Wall Street Journal noted what it described as “dangerous delays” in fixes of cars to comply with safety recalls demanded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The article looked at the 2010 recall of fires in Jeep sport-utility (SUV) vehicles.
The Wall Street Journal report examined federal data on 279 vehicle recalls since 2000. In more than a third of the cases, it took at least a year to investigate, recall and begin the fixes on the cars. In about 10 percent of cases, it took at least two years.
The report said hardly any of the 1.6 million Jeeps that were recalled due to a fire hazard linked to the deaths of at least 51 people, have been fixed. The recall applied to 1.6 million Jeep Grand Cherokees and Libertys. This information concerns me as a personal injury lawyer in Virginia Beach. In the Jeep case, the national agency missed its internal deadline three times. Since the first one, at least nine people have died in fiery crashes, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Every recall has special circumstances. In the case of Jeep, the automaker Chrysler fought the claim, thus prolonging the action. NHTSA described the recall as “highly complex and unusual.”
Even after car makers agree to recalls they may face issues in getting parts for the repairs. If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a defective car, you may have grounds to file a products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer or another party. It’s particularly tragic to me to see cases in which lives have been lost due to a recall being stalled.
The regulators as well as the manufacturers have come under fire in this regard. General Motors’ massive recalls linked to a faulty ignition switch have made news headlines this year. GM has recalled as many as 29 million cars this year due to a range of defects.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a fire or another accident caused by a faulty car or part, you should contact our Virginia personal injury lawyers at 757.455.0077 or see CooperHurley.com.