Automotive recalls are an inevitable part of the car owner experience. Last year, there were approximately 900 recalls, affecting more than 50 million vehicles in the US. While common and sometimes minor, these recalls are enacted to keep drivers safe. However, 25% of recalled vehicles are left unrepaired. With so many drivers on the road, an unsafe vehicle puts the driver and those around the driver at risk. Understanding the seriousness of automotive recalls is the first step in improving safety and even saving lives.
In The News
Perhaps the most talked about recall of recent centers around Takata, a major auto parts supplier. Takata provides parts for a number of popular automakers, including Honda, Ford, and Chrysler. In 2013, it was discovered Takata airbags contained ammonium nitrate, a dangerous chemical that could cause airbags to deploy explosively, leading to serious injury and even death. Affecting a wide range of automakers and models, the airbags were installed in cars from model year 2002 through 2015. Since 2013, over 7 million airbags have been repaired – but still many remain untouched. The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has deemed it “the largest and most complex safety recall in US history.”
Combating The Issue
Takata is only one of the hundreds of recalls happening every year. And while these recalls are frightening, the NHTSA is taking action. They recently launched Safe Cars Save Lives, a public awareness campaign that encourages car owners to check for open recalls at least twice a year. The campaign is the first of its kind, with the goal of empowering car owners. It urges consumers to use NHTSA’s free VIN search tool to regularly check their vehicles for recalls.
The campaign also educates the public on the importance of addressing these recalls immediately and includes numerous safety and how-to videos about the recall process. Said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, “An informed consumer is one of our strongest allies in ensuring recalled vehicles are repaired.”
What You Can Do
The recall system cannot function effectively without responsible consumers. The NHTSA recommends checking for recalls at least twice a year. Doing so is easy using the VIN look up tool. You can also sign up for NHTSA email alerts to receive notice if your vehicle is involved in a recall. Should you become aware of a recall, don’t wait to receive formal notice from your automaker. Make a phone call and have the issue checked. The most effective thing you can do is take action. It could save your life.
If you have been injured in an auto accident due to a vehicle recall, please contact us or call us at 800-676-5295. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and help you determine your options.