The American people should be shocked to learn that U.S. automobile recalls have surpassed the 60 million mark for the first time in a single year. This record number of recalls is due in large part to the defective General Motors Co. ignition switches and Takata Corp. air bags. The total of 60.5 million came with about a week left in 2014. This comes from an analysis of data on the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The number will rise further as recent recalls that have been announced by automakers are recorded in the database. Neil Steinkamp, a managing director at Stout Risius Ross who studies warranty and recall issues, said: “I don’t think we’re going to see a year like this for a long time.”
GM alone has recalled almost 27 million cars and trucks in the U.S. this year, a record for any single automaker. The Detroit-based company has issued 10 safety actions of more than 1 million vehicles each, according to the NHTSA database. Defective GM ignition switches in small cars have been linked to at least 42 deaths and 58 injuries.
Other recalls of more than 1 million vehicles this year included those related to steering, cruise control, engines and seat belts, according to the NHTSA data, which is compiled from automaker filings to the agency. NHTSA plans to release its official recall numbers for 2014 next year. The Takata air-bag flaw investigation led to the recall of more than 8 million vehicles. As we have reported, unstable propellant in air-bag inflators can cause the devices to explode with too much force and spread shrapnel through the car in a crash. Takata on Nov. 6 widened an annual loss forecast and said it can’t estimate the full financial liability of the defect.
GM claims that its ignition-switch recalls have cost about $2.7 billion through the first three quarters of this year. GM has said the switches, which it knew were defective for more than a decade, can shut off when bumped, disabling the vehicle air bag and increasing the risk of death or injury in a crash. Of course, we know that the vehicles can shut off for a number of reasons, including hitting a “bump” in the road and GM knows this as well. Hopefully, 2015 will see a reduction in recalled vehicles. NHTSA appears to be doing a better job and perhaps Congress will join in and help too.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.