After a record number of auto recalls in 2016, U.S. recalls actually declined in 2017. The number of recalls in 2017 fell to 30.7 million according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – the lowest numbers since 2013. Recalls hit record levels between 2014 and 2016, totaling approximately 50 million per year, after several large-scale auto industry crises prompted massive recalls. The number of recalled cars in the 20 years prior ranged between 10.2 million and 30.8 million.
High recall numbers in past years can be linked to several factors. Automakers issued 924 recalls in 2016 alone as a result of intense pressure by the government to address vehicle safety. The NHTSA mounted an aggressive recall campaign after 2014 in response to a faulty ignition switch affecting General Motors Co. (GM) vehicles. The GM defect is associated with 124 deaths and 275 injuries in the United States. In general, traffic deaths in the United States increased 5.6 percent in 2016 totaling 37,461- the highest number in a decade.
The NHTSA has said that there are many reasons for the vacillation of recall numbers year to year, such as when the defective component is actually discovered. The current decline in recalls could indicate that safety standards have actually improved in the auto industry. However, others worry that a reduction in the number of recalls is not related to increased safety measures, but rather may be the result of lax enforcement by the current administration. Since President Trump took office, the agency has not issued any new safety fines. The NHTSA has not had a permanent administrative head for 13 months. Democrats have continued to pressure the Administration to nominate a candidate, but thus far the NHTSA remains without a leader.
While the recall numbers seem more positive, the effects of the Takata scandal, which accounted for a staggering number of recalls in 2016, continue to reverberate. Experts project that the Takata airbag recall will affect more than 65 million air bags in 42 million vehicles through the end of 2018. Almost 20 different auto manufacturers will be implicated in the Takata airbag recall. Regulators recently added another 3.3 million frontal airbag inflators in several vehicle models to the Takata recall.
If you or a member of your family suffered injury or death as a result of negligence or a defective automobile, contact the attorneys Alexander Law Group, LLP. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will answer your questions and get you the maximum compensation that is possible. Call 888.777.1776 or contact us online.