Nearly one in five vehicles in the United States needs repair for safety issues serious enough to be involved in a federal government recall. According to a news report in the Insurance Journal, a report issued by Carfax, a company that provides vehicle history records for used cars, states that there are more than 47 million vehicles on U.S. roadways with open recalls. That number is up by 27 percent compared to a year ago.
Carfax administrators say there is still a lot of hard work that remains to be done when it comes to addressing safety recalls. In October 2015, there were 258.5 million vehicles in operation on U.S. roads. It is indeed concerning that the type of vehicle with the highest rate of unfixed safety issues is the family-oriented minivan, with one out of every 4.6 having open recalls. SUVs are second at one in 5.1 vehicles followed by pickup trucks and cars, each at one in 5.5 vehicles. The highest rates of unrepaired vehicles were in Texas, Mississippi, Alaska, Utah and West Virginia, in that order.
Record Years for Safety Recalls
According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015, there were close to 900 recall campaigns affecting about 51 million vehicles. Under the law, when automakers issue recalls, the vehicles must be fixed at no cost to consumers. NHTSA has launched a campaign called “Safe Cars Save Lives” in an effort to urge owners to be proactive and use their vehicle identification numbers (VIN) to heck for open recalls on safercar.gov. NHTSA’s numbers show that about 25 percent of recalled vehicles are left unrepaired.
There was also an increase in traffic-related deaths in 2015, about 9 percent higher compared to a year earlier and highest rate for that period since 2008. NHTSA said a majority of crashes, about 94 percent, are the result of human error. Carfax also has an online application on which consumers can see if there is an open recall on a vehicle by entering their license plate’s characters.
Auto Product Liability Issues
If your vehicle has been recalled for safety issues, it is important that you take it to a dealer to ensure that it is repaired. If you are in the market for a used car, it is crucial to check a vehicle’s recall status before you purchase it. If you decide to buy it, be sure to perform the necessary repairs before you buy it. Remember, it doesn’t cost you anything.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective vehicle, please contact an experienced auto products liability attorney to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.