This year is on pace to be a record-breaking one for auto recalls. The record was set last year, which saw 64 million vehicles recalled for safety problems. That number is shaping up to be easily surpassed by the end of 2015.This year’s recalls are spearheaded by the largest recall in American automotive history: the 34-million-vehicle recall of automobiles with airbags from the Japanese company Takata, one of the world’s largest airbag suppliers. The vehicles were recalled for defective airbags, and they represent about in every seven cars on the road in the U.S.Motorists were killed by airbags that could explode when deployed, launching shrapnel into the driver’s seat. More than 100 injuries and six deaths were linked to the faulty airbags.According to the New York Times, complaints about Takata for rupturing airbags had been reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as far back as 2001.Honda was the automaker most affected by the Takata recalls, with about 4.5 million affected vehicles. BMW, Dodge, Chrysler, Toyota, Subaru, Nissan, Ford, Mazda and Infiniti all have models on the recall list as well.Although research is still being conducted into why the airbags were so faulty, it’s believed that heat, age and humidity all contributed to the dangerous airbags. The inflators have a chemical in them that can become unstable in moisture. The airbags can rupture and harm someone, even if the accident is just a simple fender-bender.The National Highway Transportation Administration announced it would hold a public information meeting regarding the airbag recalls on October 22.
Another major recall may soon be coming: Volkswagen has received a lot of unwanted publicity after the Environmental Protection Agency said the automaker installed illegal software in its diesel-power cars in order to evade standards for reducing smog. At least 11 million vehicles are affected.
Volkswagen is accused of installing software that would keep emissions within legal limits only when the vehicle was being tested. The EPA said that, in normal circumstances, those controls are turned off and the cars emit up to 40 times as much pollution as allowed under the Clean Air Act.
The full picture of this is still to be seen, but Volkswagen is expected to pay billions of dollars as a result of this deceit. The company’s CEO resigned just days after the scandal came to light.
There were thousands of other cars recalled this year. These recalls included carmakers from all across the world. The defects ranged from moderate to severe. But no matter how large or small a recall is, any problem with an automobile has the potential to cause serious harm.Consumer Reports has some good advice on what to do if your vehicle is recalled. And if you or a loved one has been injured by an automobile defect, we know what you care most about is getting your life back to as close to normal as possible.At Pittman, Dutton, Hellums, Bradley & Mann, we can help you do this by pursuing a successful car accident claim. Our car accident and product liability attorneys are deeply experienced with these cases.If you or a loved one has been injured because of a car defect, contact us at (205) 322-8880 or contact us online.
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