Recalls are always frustrating for consumers, but probably none are as frustrating as automotive recalls. We depend on our cars to get us where we want to go.
But when our safety is further compromised by faulty parts, consumers loose trust in the brands they love and champion. This year it seemed almost none of the automotive industry’s manufacturers escaped the need to recall their cars.
Deflating the Airbag Standard
It began with the Takata recall, which required more than 30 million vehicles by 10 different automakers to replace frontal airbags. Toyota, Honda and BMW are just a few companies who had to pay the price for Takata’s mistakes. When a crash occurred, the frontal airbags deployed with such explosive force, the metal shards in the airbags sprayed shrapnel throughout the cab. When a device that’s supposed to save your life turns your car into a warzone, that’s a huge manufacturing failure.
Das Bunk Auto
The Volkswagen (VW) Clean Diesel scandal is sure to go down in the history books as the biggest mistake the company ever made. VW cut corners in the rush to fulfill the Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality standards by rigging the tests for greenhouse gas emission on their models featuring the 2.0-liter diesel engines. The result was a recall of around 482,000 cars in the U.S. alone. In addition to having to pay $18 billion in fines, the company faces class-action lawsuits from American consumers who feel duped into paying premium prices for a product that pollutes 40 times the standard for nitrogen oxide.
The List Goes On
Other automakers recalling cars this year include:
- Toyota recently recalled 6.4 million cars for a faulty window switch that could potentially lead to a short circuit and cause a fire. Affected are 2008-2010 Yaris, Corolla, Camry, Rav4, Highlander, Matrix, Tundra, Sequoia, Scion xB and xD. If this applies to your vehicle, your local dealership will replace the faulty switch for free.
- GM issued two recalls. The first was for 3,300 2014 Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra light-duty trucks, the 2015 heavy duty Sierra pick-up and the 2015 Suburban and Tahoe. All models involve a flawed ignition switch that can slip out of the run position. This causes the engine to stall, cutting the power steering and brakes, and deactivating the airbag.
- The second GM recall involves a malfunctioning windshield wiper motor that may overheat and cause a fire in the 2016 Chevy Traverse, the GMC Acadia and the Buick Enclave.
- Chevrolet recalled 1,733 2015 Cruze models due to a rollaway risk caused by loose bolts and improper break fasteners.
- Kia’s 2011-2013 Sorrentos were found to have a transmission glitch that causes the car to roll while parked. This oversight has already cost the company three injuries, 54 warranty claims and 14 customer complaints.
- In addition to the models involved in the Takata recall, BMW had to recall 7,544 cars manufactured between October 2011 to June 2015 for a software malfunction that causes a side light to fail, making the car less visible at night.
- Fiat Chrysler was ordered to pay a record fine of $105 million for mishandling safety recalls for millions of vehicles, with a total of 23 models affected.
- 2016 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ models were recalled for having fuel tanks that crack during crashes, increasing the risk of fire.
- Mercedez-Benz had to recall 150,000 E-class and CLS 2013, 2014 and 2015 models for a design flaw that can cause a fire in the engine compartment.
If you suspect your car is subject to recall, you can check the VIN at Safecar.gov to be sure. In most cases, the manufacturer offers repairs free of charge to customers.
Attorney Scott Hooper helps people who have been harmed due to a company’s negligence. His experience handling product liability cases benefits clients when they need help the most. Case evaluations are fee and at no obligations to you, so contact him today if you’ve been harmed.