The year 2014 was a record-setting one for automotive recalls. In the United States alone, over 62 million vehicles were recalled due to a variety of safety defects. The eight largest automakers have each recalled more vehicles this year in the U.S. for manufacturing defects than they have on average since 1966, the earliest year data was collected.
The General Motors ignition switch defect, impacting assorted models from 2003 to 2011, has been associated with at least 42 deaths. The faulty ignition switches could shut off the engine during operation of the vehicles, preventing the airbags from deploying. Most shocking is that the company had known about the defect for at least a decade prior to issuing the recalls.
Nearly 8 million vehicles manufactured by 10 different companies were recalled to replace front driver and/or passenger airbags. All the airbags were manufactured by one company, Takata, a major parts supplier. Automakers commonly use the same part across several models of vehicles to expedite manufacturing and keep costs down. The airbags, found on certain 2002 through 2008 models are prone to deploy explosively, injuring and sometimes killing vehicle occupants.
In March 2014, Toyota was slapped with a $1.2 billion Justice Department fine after it was determined they had been lying to Congress and the American public for years about their knowledge of the sudden acceleration of some of its vehicles. Toyota tried to conceal the problem, claiming that driver error was to blame, when a flawed gas pedal design was actually to blame for some accelerators becoming pinned. Toyota’s deception led to a number of needless fatalities.
Worldwide, Nissan is recalling nearly 470,000 automobiles – 133,000 of those in the United States- due to the potential for fuel leaks. The recall covers a variety of models manufactured from 2012-2015. The company blames an improperly installed fuel pressure sensor for allowing a “small amount of fuel” to leak out.
BMW of North America is recalling certain model year 2014 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2-door vehicles which were manufactured between January 7, 2014 and July 21, 2014. The spare wheel under the car may have been attached with a nut that is not self-locking. Vibrations from normal driving may facilitate loosening of the nut, causing the wheel to separate from the car, and become a road hazard by increasing the risk of an accident.
A lack of sufficient incentives has been blamed for companies’ failure to act responsibly and correct the safety defects. Lawmakers are convinced that nothing short of stiffer fines and the threat of criminal prosecution will prompt automakers to place a premium on the safety of their products.
Contact a Denver Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident due to a vehicle defect, it is best to contact an experienced Denver car accident attorney immediately. Call Denver attorney Robert Paysinger today to discuss your case and see if you are eligible to file a claim. Our law firm offers FREE case consultations and can be reached at 303.279.0221 or online at www.paysingerlaw.com/contact-us.
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