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American automakers win top honors through Consumer Reports

Over the past year, we have written a number of posts regarding automotive recalls and the inherent dangers present in millions of vehicles that have not been taken to dealers for repairs. However, a recent Consumer Reports story may buck that trend. According to the magazine’s annual automotive rankings issue, American automakers hold the top three consumer picks for the first time.

The Tesla Model S is the overall consumer top pick, but what is more impressive is that the Buick Regal surpassed offerings from Honda and BMW, which have been consumer stalwarts. The Cheverolet Impala was voted by consumers to be the best large sedan.

Performance was one of the factors that led to the rankings, the others included fuel efficiency, price and safety. 

We highlight the observation of safety in this post because of an automaker’s ongoing responsibility to identify and correct defects that a consumer would not otherwise discover. If an automaker discovers such a defect, and does not take reasonable steps towards fixing them, it could be held liable in the event the defect is deemed to be the proximate cause of an accident.

As we noted in a prior post, it is expected that more cars will be recalled this year due to technology glitches and parts failing. We hope that automakers are more proactive in announcing recalls, especially for those vehicles on the second hand market. As reported last year, many of these car owners may not receive proper notice of a recall because they may not register their ownership with the automaker.

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