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Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP

Understanding the Increase in U.S. Motor Vehicle Recalls

Driving a defective motor vehicle can have devastating consequences. This is because all it takes is faulty brakes, defective tires or bad ignition switches to cause a serious and devastating car accident.

For the second year in a row, United States automakers have recalled motor vehicles because of safety defects. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that in 2015 a record 51.2 million vehicles had to be recalled because of almost 900 separate vehicle recall orders. This upswing in motor vehicle recalls has been blamed on an increased awareness of vehicle defects by federal regulators, in addition to more disclosures by vehicle manufacturers in an attempt to avoid hefty penalties and fines.

The Reasons for Increased Motor Vehicle Recalls

Since 2013, the United States has seen a marked upswing in motor vehicle recalls. In fact from 2005 to 2013, no more than 20.3 million vehicles had been recalled within one year, as opposed to the 51.2 million vehicles recalled in 2015, and the 51 million vehicles that were recalled in 2014.

NHTSA believes that a big part of why recalls have increased is that there has been more vigilance in identifying and addressing motor vehicle defects. This enhanced vigilance has been motivated by major scandals including the exploding Takata air bags found in vehicles from many manufacturers, the ignition-switch defects discovered in an assortment of General Motors vehicles, as well as Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal.

Many automotive manufacturers have increased their self-reporting of vehicle defects to avoid the hefty fines and penalties like those imposed on Fiat Chrysler. Last year, Fiat Chrysler was ordered to pay $105 million in fines because the manufacturer did not acknowledge or address the safety defects in Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler vehicles in a timely manner.

This record-breaking fine was the largest ever imposed by NHTSA and Fiat Chrysler is now subject to unprecedented federal review and oversight for a three-year period. Furthermore, Fiat Chrysler has agreed to purchase back some of the defective vehicles from consumers. One of the primary defects found in Fiat Chrysler vehicles that are subject to the buyback was a defective suspension part that could cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles.

Identifying Whether Your Motor Vehicle Has Been Recalled

Recent motor vehicle defect scandals have resulted in regulators increasing their scrutiny of automotive manufacturers. In response to this increased scrutiny, car makers have in turn become more proactive in identifying and reporting vehicle defects and other safety issues.

Though your vehicle’s manufacturer may have reported defects to NHTSA, you may be unaware that you are driving an unsafe vehicle. Below is a list of some of the high-priority motor vehicles that have recently been recalled:

  • 2002-2003 Acura 3.2TL/3.2CL
  • 2002-2006 BMW 3 Series, M3
  • 2007-2008 Dodge Sprinter
  • 2003-2007 Toyota Corolla and Matrix
  • 2002-2004 Nissan Pathfinder and Sentra
  • 2001-2005 Honda Civic
  • 2003-2005 Subaru Legacy Outback and Baja

The above is not the complete list of recalled vehicles. Click here to determine if your car has been recalled.

Choose the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP for Your Automotive Accident Suit

The increased number of automotive recalls puts motor vehicle owners, passengers and pedestrians at risk. Luckily, the auto defect attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP in Long Island, New York, have ample experience with bringing motor vehicle product liability suits.

Contact our team of Long Island car accident attorneys today.

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