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2017 Auto Recalls Are High, But Way Below 2016

As 2017 comes to a close, the number of automobile recalls has totaled up to around 28 million. That’s certainly a big number, especially since popular models tend to sell a few hundred thousand each year, but it’s nowhere near 2016’s 53 million recalls.

Back To Business As Usual

The main reason for the sudden drop is because of the one big recall that made recall numbers skyrocket in the first place: the Takata airbags. Takata’s faulty airbag design meant that in some cases drivers were getting metal shrapnel thrown at their faces instead of an air cushion, resulting in several fatalities and a total of 41 million recall notices issued between several companies from 2014-16. The high numbers were also the result of other high-profile recalls like the GM ignition switches.

Fewer than half of the needed recall repairs on Takata airbags have taken place even now. Partly that’s because of how many replacement parts need installing, and partly it’s because car owners don’t always give recall notices as much attention as they should.

But, for the most part, the automakers with Takata airbags issued their recalls in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Thus, in 2017 the recalls were relatively normal. Highlights included Ram trucks with faulty roll sensors, Honda Accords with bad battery cases, and Ford trucks with leaky door latches. The Volkswagen diesel scandal is still ongoing, but that’s not something the company can solve with just a recall and diesel passenger cars are still fairly rare in the United States.

The Mixed Results Of Major Recalls

While 2017 isn’t close to the incredible numbers of the past three years, it’s still relatively high compared to earlier years and before 2014 the only years that beat it are 2004 and 1981, the year Ford recalled 21 million vehicles in what’s still the biggest single-company recall in American history.

Depending on how you look at it, a high number of annual recalls can be a good thing. Nobody’s perfect, after all (not even with robotic assembly lines), and so the recall campaigns are proof that automakers are spotting problems, letting their customers know, and fixing their mistakes for free.

On the other hand, constant recalls can also wear on a car owner’s patience. Few recalls are as immediately important as the GM ignition switches or as deadly as the Takata airbags, and so many owners will put off the repair visit until they eventually forget about it. At the same time, car companies will also issue recalls if there’s even a small chance that the vehicle has a faulty part.

More recalls help companies cover themselves when parts break and help make sure vehicle owners have vehicles in perfect working order. However, they also exhaust owners and make them less likely to get the fixes they need. So having more recalls every year has both positives and negatives, and it’s probably for the best that the recall count is going back down to normal now that the big high-profile recalls have settled down.

But if you or someone you love is injured or even killed by a faulty car part, you may be entitled to compensation even if the manufacturer issued a recall. To learn more you should contact a personal injury or auto accident lawyer who serves your area, like the lawyers of the All Injuries Law Firm who serve Port Charlotte and the rest of southwest Florida. With our help, many of our clients have received better settlements after accidents and injuries of all kinds.