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Record Year for Auto Recalls Highlights Need For Aggressive Advocacy

by on January 17, 2015

Due in large measure to the massive fallout over defective General Motors ignition switches and Takata airbags, 2014 has seen the most automotive recalls relating to older vehicles than any previous year, according to a federal records review undertaken by the New York Times. The roughly 700 individual recall announcements occurring over the course of the year have subjected over 60 million cars and trucks to at least one recall, the equivalent of one out of every five vehicles currently in service.

Cars and trucks placed on the roadways with hazardous defects routinely jeopardize the lives and safety of drivers, their passengers, fellow motorists and others. When serious harm results from such conditions, injury victims are afforded the right to pursue monetary compensation. At Wattel & York, our team of auto recall lawyers is dedicated to fighting for justice on behalf of those injured by the negligence of car makers and parts suppliers.

Recall statistics highlight need for industry reforms

The recent onslaught of recalls has been the result of years of failures on the part of automakers and suppliers to either detect or pay sufficient attention to defects in vehicle components and systems. Finally being called to account for problems dating back over a decade in some instances, many car makers are beginning to overhaul internal processes and even the ways in which impacted consumers are notified of safety concerns.

In the past, most major automakers utilized standard mail as a means of contacting owners of cars and trucks affected by safety recalls. However, manufacturers are increasingly taking more targeted steps to inform consumers of potential problems and emphasize the urgency of the need to seek repairs. Not only are letters sent, companies are attempting to make actual telephone contact with vehicle owners.

Government initiatives seek to improve recall repair records

Federal regulatory agencies have signaled to industry giants that the days of sitting on potential problems and delaying the recall process for dangerously long periods of time are over. Following owner complaints about the frequent inability to have recall repairs made due to a lack of necessary parts or training for technicians, increasing pressure is being placed on manufacturers to ensure the availability of sufficient volumes of replacement components, and to identify hazardous defects more rapidly than in the past.

To back up these mandates, the federal government has not hesitated to levy hefty fines and other sanctions against automakers failing to meet new requirements. Perhaps the most notable evidence of this trend is the March 2014 announcement of a $1.2 billion criminal penalty against Toyota in connection with recalls stemming from unintended acceleration accidents which were not adequately addressed or remedied by the manufacturer.

Auto recall lawyers in Phoenix

Automakers owe each and every consumer a duty to make certain that whenever a defect is identified, comprehensive and appropriate warnings are issued promptly. Unfortunately, recent events have borne witness to the fact that far too many manufacturers have not always taken that responsibility seriously.

The Phoenix personal injury lawyers at Wattel & York have amassed an impressive track record of holding those parties responsible for serious injury and death fully accountable and helping establish safeguards against future betrayals of public trust.

Whether we are able to achieve resolution in your case through aggressive settlement negotiations or if we must take your case through to trial, our vehicle recall attorneys stand ready to provide the tireless representation you need to secure the outcome you deserve.

To schedule a free initial consultation to discuss the facts of your case, contact us at 1-877-225-5562.

Resources:

  1. New York Times, Auto Industry Galvanized After Record Recall Year, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/31/business/a-year-of-record-recalls-galvanizes-auto-industry-into-action.html?_r=0
  2. Los Angeles Times, Toyota admits deceiving consumers; $1.2 billion penalty is record, http://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/19/business/la-fi-toyota-settlement-20140320

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