If you thought last year could have been dubbed “the year of the recall,” you certainly had enough information to support that argument. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, automakers recalled nearly 60 million vehicles in 2014 behind a number of ailments. They included General Motors’ ignition defect problem, which could disable a car while running; and the Takata airbag scandal, in which airbags that were supposed to save a driver’s life could essentially be an explosive device that could severely injure a driver.
Also, automakers paid heavy fines last year for failing to report defects and issue recalls. GM paid $30 million for the ignition switch debacle and Honda paid a record $70 million for its role in failing to report accidents and injuries over the past decade.
But with major auto shows poised to open in the next couple weeks, questions remain as to whether 2015 will see even more recalls. Federal officials believe that the answer to that question is yes.
It would seem that the constant news of recalls would have soured consumers on purchasing new vehicles, but it appears that the opposite has happened. Nevertheless, officials recommend that recalls must be aggressive and pre-emptive so that consumer safety is not compromised. Ultimately, it is a reminder of the duty that automakers have to keep consumers safe from defects that could put them in danger. If an automaker fails to use reasonable care in detailing defects and remedying them, the automaker could be held liable if a consumer is injured.