2014 was a bad year for the auto industry. An October 2014 report by the Detroit Free Press put auto recalls at nearly 60 million this year alone, and this number has since increased. Japanese auto leader Honda recently expanded an airbag recall that has already affected nearly 10 million vehicles featuring Takata-manufactured airbags. Takata, a Tokyo-based company, issued recalls spanning around a dozen auto manufacturers, most recently including Subaru and Mitsubishi vehicles. These faulty airbags have caused shrapnel-like matter to eject from in or around the airbag, causing catastrophic injuries to many involved.
Auto Safety in the Light of Recalls
As consumers, we rely on our vehicle manufacturers to produce safe cars for us to drive in. While accidents do happen, automakers generally have a duty to their customers to provide reasonably safe vehicles, with safety features that operate correctly. When automakers make a mistake and use faulty parts, fail to consider certain safety risks, or discover a possible danger, it is reasonable for us to expect timely notification of such risks.
Failure to Report Defects in the Auto Industry
Auto manufacturers such as General Motors now know how catastrophic a failure to warn can be. Allegations that General Motors knew about and failed to report an ignition switch defect surfaced early this year, leading to national highway safety organizations requiring that the company pay fines for its indiscretion. Around 100 people collectively have either been killed or injured due to the faulty ignition switches, though nearly four times that amount have claimed related injuries. These ignition switches may “turn over” without prompting, disabling critical safety features such as airbags, or causing a loss of power to the engine completely.
After controversial failures to report surfaced from General Motors this year and Toyota over the last several, we all have a good reason to distrust the auto industry. While we cannot control what the manufacturers do and do not decide to timely report, we can stay on top of our own auto safety. While many of these defects may not have been detected from routine auto inspections, some certainly may have been more obvious. Changing your oil regularly, getting tune-ups, rotating your tires, and undergoing routine maintenance can still make a difference. Paying attention to the auto recalls you may receive in the mail or that you see in the media should prompt you to get your vehicle checked out. Keep your car manufacturer or dealership apprised of any address changes, and be sure to tell your local auto repair personnel if you experience any changes, hear any noises, or have any reason to believe your car is not operating the way it should be.
Philadelphia Auto Accident Lawyers
Vehicle accidents of any kind can be frightening, emotional, and may have a significant impact on your family, ability to work, and ability to enjoy life. At Solnick & Associates, LLC, our experienced Philadelphia auto accident attorneys understand your needs and concerns after an auto accident. Regardless of whether your accident can be attributed to a product defect, a negligent driver, or a road distraction, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. To learn more about your legal rights, contact our Jenkintown-based auto accident lawyers today.