2006: The Year of the Safety Recall

In May of 2006, auto giant Toyota recently a recall of over 1,000,000 cars due to steering defects, and on July 18th, they announced another which affected over 418,000 cars worldwide. This is just under 1.5 million recalls in just under four months.

Toyota’s luck hasn’t been very good over the past few years. In 2005, they had to recall 750,000 pickup trucks, and according to a recent article in Business Week, every single car and truck in their 2006 line has had a safety recall. While some were more serious than others, this is not a trend that should continue.

Toyota isn’t alone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration database shows that recalls are occurring in 2006 at a staggering rate.

February of 2006 had over 600,000 recalls from Mercedes, Ford, Chrysler, and Nissan for problems involving brakes, bad seatbelts, gas tanks that could cause fires and electrical surges that could short out the windshield wipers and turn signals.

March of 2006 had over one million combined recalls from Toyota, Nissan, GM, Chrysler, Ford and Nissan for problems involving leaking tires, failing door latches, tailgates on light trucks that fail, windshield wiper motors that fail, rear hatches that fail without warning, and electrical shortages which could cause fires.

April of 2006 had over one million recalls from Mercedes, Toyota, Mazda, GM, Ford, Mazda, Saab, Volvo and Land Rover for problems ranging from bad airbags, electrical systems that short out, bad seatbelts, seats that aren’t properly secured in the vehicle, cruise control that fails, bad brakes, and suspensions that disconnect.

May of 2006 gave us over 400,000 combined recalls from Chrysler, Volvo, Hyundai, GM, VW and Toyota. Among the defects were clutches that fail, brake pads that go bad, steering failures, headlights that suddenly burn out, roof panels that fly off, and brake light signals that suddenly burn out.

June of 2006 had over 350,000 combined recalls from Mitsubishi, Chrysler, Audi, GM, Mercedes, Nissan, and Toyota for defects that included transmissions that could suddenly slip out of park, brake lines that suddenly lose fluid, headlights that short out and could cause fires inside the drivers compartment, cooling fan blades that could separate and become shrapnel, bad seatbelts, potential engine fires due to an excessive consumption of oil, and tires that leak.

The rate of these recalls brings design standards and quality control of the automobile manufacturers into question. An auto defect is one of the worst types of product liability, as the product in question weighs more than a ton and is capable of speeds of 100 miles an hour. What makes car design defects particularly harmful is that, aside from the obvious accident dangers, a perfectly innocent driver could be blamed for an accident that wasn’t his or her fault in the first place. There are enough dangers on the roads among regular drivers. New dangers that stem from the drafting table or assembly line will not make things any safer on out highways.

As an attorney providing legal counsel for car accident victims, Jeremy Flachs knows that regular traffic is dangerous enough, even in a car that is functioning perfectly. He has provided successful legal counsel for the victims of car accidents in the Washington, D.C. area, which is one of the most congested and crowded areas in our nation. Should you or a loved one be injured in an auto accident, contact the Law Offices of Jeremy Flachs for a free case assessment.

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