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Vehicle Recalls Raise Important Issues of Safety and Responsibility

Faulty ignition switches in low-end General Motors cars have now been linked to 13 tragic deaths.

Because GM knew about the defective switches for 10 years before beginning recalls of the affected cars, several lawsuits and a congressional investigation have ensued.GM is by no means alone in the recall of vehicles due to safety issues. Even as their latest recall was being announced, Toyota was calling back Avalon sedans for an electrical defect that could cause airbags and seatbelt tensioners to unintentionally activate. Toyota actually had the most recalls in 2013, with 5 affected vehicles. The company apparently learned its corporate lesson about reporting problem cars – just weeks ago, Toyota agreed to a $1.2 billion settlement for misleading consumers about unintended acceleration issues in 2009 and 2010.

Chrysler was second in recalls last year, with some 4.7 million vehicles. Honda was third with nearly 2.8 million recalled vehicles. Hyundai-Kia recalled 2.2 million vehicles and Ford called back 1.2 million. GM was ninth last year, with around 758,000 recalled vehicles.

To help ensure that owners receive critical recall information, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers the following tips:

  • Register your cars, tires and car seats with the manufacturer and the NHTSA. The agency sends out email notifications when the manufacturer files the recall with the federal government.
  • Download NHTSA’s SaferCar mobile app, now available for both Apple devices and Android devices. In addition to crash test ratings and child seat installation directions, an RSS feed can send recall information directly to your smart phone.
  • When shopping for a used car, check www.safercar.gov for any open recalls, and verify with the previous owner or dealer whether the car has been fixed.

If a manufacturing defect may have led to injuries sustained by you or a loved one, Florida personal injury attorneys can help you determine your rights to compensation.