Have you ever wondered why there are so many recalls and how dangerous parts can wind up in so many cars, injuring and killing unsuspecting drivers and their passengers?
One of the answers is shocking but not surprising. Auto companies are maximizing profits! It’s cheaper to buy or make a single part that fits into many makes and models, than to design a unique part for each one. But it’s a gamble. If that part malfunctions, millions are affected.
The recall list is staggering
The sorry history of recalls began nearly 60 years ago. This 2014 CNN story listed the ten biggest recalls between 1960 and 2014 based on National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) figures:
From 1960 through the early 1970s, 23.9 million vehicles were recalled, including models from General Motors, Ford, Honda and Volkswagen. The GM vehicles had engine defects that caused cars to accelerate suddenly. Faulty suspensions in other GM models caused drivers to lose control. Some GM cars had a design flaw that let small stones lodge in the steering mechanism. The Fords were recalled for failing seat belt buckles, and the Hondas for cracking seat belt buckles. Twenty years of VW models were recalled for defective windshield wipers.
In the 1980s, 21 million Fords were recalled for slipping gear shifts. During the 1990s, 7.9 million Fords were recalled for ignition fires. In 2004, 3.6 million GM trucks were recalled for tail gates that failed to lock. In 2005, fires caused by faulty speed control switches recalled 9 million Fords. More Fords were recalled four years later for faulty speed control devices. In 2009, 4.4 million Toyotas were recalled for sudden, unintended acceleration. In 2014, Ford recalled 15.6 million cars, including 2.6 million with a deadly flaw – an ignition switch that suddenly cut off engines and disabled safety systems.
In May 2016, the U.S. saw the largest single recall in American history, according to NBC News. The Takata airbag recall covered more than 50 million cars and 12 auto makers. NBC reported it could affect “…a quarter of all the vehicles on U.S. roads…” In September 2016, USA Today cited a GM recall of more than 4 million cars with airbags won’t deploy and seat belts that may not work if their computers fail.
Experts cite four main reasons for recalls
Cars are becoming more complex because buyers want more features and federal laws requiring better fuel efficiency and safety devices are increasing. But the bottom line is the same. It’s cheaper to put one part in thousands of cars and gamble that it won’t fail rather than design a new part for each model.
There’s a remedy if a recall ripped you off
Wayne Wright is ready to take on auto makers and manufacturers who knowingly take advantage of consumers. He’s a winner of the 2014 Litigator Award. It’s based on winnings for clients – actual successful results for the injured and grieving families. Only 1% of lawyers ever qualify for this rare honor. Calls are free. You pay nothing if your case is not successfully resolved.