If car recalls were a disease, officials would consider them a public health hazard. The number of car recalls in recent years has increased exponentially, and that poses an obvious question: Are safety and reliability in automobiles trending downward? As of 2016, 53.2 million passenger vehicles were subject to recall notices, the highest number in history, and a 7 percent increase over the previous year. Even worse, the number of recalls topped 50 million for the third year in a row. Back in 2011, the total number of recalls was just 13.6 million.
Older Models at Higher Risk of Recall
Just because the number of recalls has increased dramatically does not mean new vehicles are inherently less safe or reliable. It is older models that are primarily the subject of recalls, with issues that have only recently come to the surface. For example, the largest recall ever involves vehicles with Takata Corporation airbags.
In the United States, that recall affected 42 million cars coming off the assembly lines between 2002 and 2015. Among the companies dealing with potentially dangerous airbags are Honda, Nissan, Ford, Toyota, Dodge/Ram, and Chevrolet. Takata Corporation has since filed for bankruptcy.
Manufacturers are also issuing recalls for less serious problems, that in the past would have been handled in different manner, such as dealer notification.
Currently, the average age of a passenger vehicle on the road is 11.6 years, another all-time high. Cars are, in fact, becoming more reliable, adding to their years of useful life.
Thirty Percent Non-compliance Rate
While recalls pose an inconvenience to car owners, they do not have to pay for these repairs out-of-pocket. However, an alarming 30 percent of recalled vehicles have not been repaired and are still out on the roads. While there are various reasons owners do not have their cars repaired after a recall, the biggest factor is simply lack of knowledge. Many owners are never informed that their vehicle is the subject of a recall. The older the model, the more likely that is to occur, as cars change owners through the years.
New Notification Tools
In March, 2018, automakers announced the availability of a new tool, the Vehicle Recall Search Service, for auto professionals to search for recalled vehicles that have not been repaired. While the online search tool is not available for consumers, it is accessible by government entities, state motor vehicle departments, car dealers, insurance companies, vehicle auction companies, auto lenders, auto parts recyclers, and others in the industry. They can search for up to 10,000 open recalls at one time, retrieving the information in seconds.
This new tool allows insurance companies, for example, to include recall reminders to clients, and state motor vehicle departments have the ability to notify owners about any automobile recalls effecting their vehicle when their renewals are due.
Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Work with Car Accident Victims
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, you need the services of the experienced Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. Call us today at 302-888-1221 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. From our offices in Wilmington and Philadelphia we represent injured clients in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.