Government Watchdog Reveals Massive Scale of Automobile Recalls in 2014
If you thought cars are getting safer as technology advances think again. For all of the talk of smart cars, 2014 was not a very smart year for the automobile industry as the number of recalls broke records.
Not all of the issues were exclusive to 2014. When General Motors announced the recall of 2.6 million smaller cars in 2014, it was owning up to a problem that went back a decade.
That recall spiraled and GM ended up recalling 5.88 million vehicles over faulty ignition switches than can stall a car and disable the air bag. This week the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a summary of 2014’s recalls stating two of the biggest auto recalls in car making history took place last year.
The GM defect has been linked to 57 deaths and many more injuries. The other big recall of the year was over defective Takata-brand airbags that can explode, sending shrapnel into drivers and passengers. Honda alone recalled 5.39 million vehicles over this defect and cars made by other manufacturers were affected. USA Today reported the Honda airbags recall was linked to at least five deaths.
“The GM recall is significant far beyond the recall tally. The episode provoked federal fines, lawsuits, government investigations, an embarrassingly candid internal probe at the automaker, Senate and House subcommittee hearings and an overhaul of how GM regards safety concerns,” reported USA Today.
The NHTSA summary of 2014 reveals there were 803 separate vehicle recalls in 2014, involving a staggering 63.9 million vehicles. NHTSA states its enforcement actions influenced 123 of the recalls, affecting 19.1 million vehicles.
The government watchdog was accused of failing to act in a speedy manner over the GM recall. Although last year’s recalls appear to be on a massive scale, the report made it clear there have been even bigger recalls in past years.
In 1981 Ford recalled 21 million vehicles over a parking gear defect. In 1996 an ignition problem led GM to recall 7.9 million cars.
Most of the accident and injury claims we deal with as car accident injury lawyers in Virginia, are derived from accidents cause by other drivers. However, if you are injured by a defective car part such as an airbag, an ignition switch or a tire, you have grounds to file a products liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of the part or the vehicle. See our questions and answers about product liability in Virginia or call Cooper Hurley at 757.455.0077.