There’s a good chance that the vehicle you’re driving right now is in need of repairs due to safety recalls. In fact, according to a recent report, nearly 1 in 5 vehicles currently on the road is in need of repairs that are dangerous enough to be involved in a federal government recall. That’s nearly 47 million vehicles presently with open recalls, which is up 27 percent from last year. Unfortunately, Texas is one of the states with the highest number of vehicles that are in need of repairs, which puts drivers in Austin at risk for becoming involved in motor vehicle accidents.
Reasons for the High Numbers of Recalls
Vehicle recalls in the U.S. hit an all-time high in 2015 for the second year in a row. A record-setting 51 million vehicles were recalled in 2015 over 900 separate recalls. In 2014, slightly fewer than 51 million automobiles were recalled. Some of the biggest recalls this year were Takata’s exploding airbags, General Motors’ ignition switch default, and the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) credits vigilance and increased scrutiny as the reason for the recalls. The Administration has recently taken a more active role in evaluating and inspecting vehicles and reporting any problems that could mean trouble for drivers. However, it is clear that more work needs to be done in preventing the recalls from occurring in the first place. Until that happens, work needs to be done to encourage vehicle owners to get their recalled automobiles repaired, which is why NHTSA recently began working with 18 automakers to improve the rate of repairs on vehicles. This effort includes a “Safe Cars Save Lives” campaign that urges vehicle owners to use their vehicle identification numbers to check for open recalls on the NHTSA website http://www.safercar.gov/.
The Effect of Recalls
Could there be a link between the high number of vehicle deaths that took place in 2015 and the record-setting number of recalls? Although NHTSA claims that 94 percent of accidents are due to human error, it does admit that recall issues could increase the number of accidents that occur. Data indicates that the death rate increased in 2015 after hitting an all-time low of 32,675 deaths in 2014. In the first nine months of 2015, about 26,000 U.S. traffic deaths occurred, which is 9 percent higher than a year earlier and the highest rate for that period since 2008.
Vehicles with the highest number of unfixed recall problems are minivans, with one of every 4.6 having open recalls. Next are SUVs—one in every 5.1 vehicles has open recalls—followed by pickup trucks and cars, each at one in 5.5 vehicles. The states with the highest numbers of vehicles that haven’t been repaired are Texas—which has the most—followed by Alaska, West Virginia, Utah, and Mississippi.
Along with checking on NHTSA’s website for open recalls, drivers can also visit the Carfax website to find out if their vehicles are affected by the recalls. Repairs for open recalls are fixed at no cost to the drivers at U.S. dealerships.
Unfixed Recalls Are Dangerous to All Drivers on the Road
Driving a vehicle that has an unsafe recall is dangerous to everyone on the road. A vehicle that has a malfunction can cause a driver to lose control of it and crash into those around him. The result could be catastrophic injuries that affect you and your family now and in the future.
Fortunately, accident victims in Austin, San Antonio, and the surrounding areas have rights and the attorneys of Wayne Wright can help them fight for them. Call us at 800-237-3334 to schedule your consultation to speak with an attorney about your situation.