The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a report detailing the massive extent of the vehicles recalled in 2014. According to the details of the NHTSA’s summary report, the auto industry was forced to recall more than 60 million vehicles in 2014.
The recalls were not limited to the highly publicized GM ignition switch defects or the dangerous Takata airbags. Many other auto companies recalled vehicles for different reasons, including Chrysler, Toyota, Ford, Nissan, Hyundai, Volkswagen, and BMW. Cars were recalled for defects involving brakes, electrical systems and steering systems.
Shockingly, just because a vehicle has been recalled does not mean that it has been fixed. The NHTSA estimates that 90 percent of the vehicles that have been recalled have not been fixed. This means that more than 50 million recalled and dangerous defects are still on American roadways.
While auto manufacturers struggled in 2014, automobile dealers posted record profits. In a recent announcement by the National Automobile Dealers Association, the average dealership made a $1 million in profits in 2014. These are profit levels that have not been seen since before the recession.
The NHTSA came under a lot of fire in 2014 for what legislatures called unacceptable delays in the recall process. The NHTSA was forced to provide an accounting of its practices in front of a congressional hearing and take tougher stances with auto companies and their suppliers.
For example, when Takata refused to issue national recalls of vehicles with their airbags installed, the NHTSA instituted a $14,000 daily fine for failure to comply. Additionally, federal safety and regulatory agencies are considering new fine structures that would increase the penalties for delaying a known recall or safety defect announcement.
Industry insiders suspect that while future recalls will not rise to the level of 2014, they will be higher than years past as auto companies scramble to avoid stringent new fines and penalties.
Experienced Winston-Salem Auto Accident Law Firm
Car accident lawyers at Lewis & Keller are particularly concerned by the number of recalled vehicles that have yet to be fixed. Millions of Americans are unknowingly riding around in dangerous vehicles.
It is more than likely that you or someone you know will be involved in an accident involving a recalled vehicle. If you are injured in one of these accidents, contact our law firm.