The auto industry has recently been shaken by a series of vehicle defects affecting passenger vehicles made by various manufacturers.
While regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have taken action to issue recalls and fine automakers for their oversights that put the driving public at risk, they have also sharpened their resolve to enhance automobile safety in a more proactive way.
Specifically, NHTSA regulators are now urging automakers to collect and share safety data with each other manufacturers, as well as with federal transportation safety regulators.
The hope is that better communication among carmakers and federal authorities can improve the detection of defective vehicle equipment and, in doing so, effectively prevent traffic accidents, injuries, or deaths.
Solving Safety Issues via a Shared Data System
Currently, 18 US and foreign car manufacturers have agreed to share defect issues, along with techniques for rectifying these issues, with each other via the NHTSA’s proposed system. This has been in response to the push for reform from federal regulators and Congress, and it seems to be evolving in a similar way as the current safety management system used by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for airlines.
Some critics of the new collaboration among the auto manufacturers are concerned that this agreement won’t hold up. In fact, they point to a pattern of carmakers’ historical attempts to avoid reporting defects and manufacturing violations. One noteworthy example lies in the VW emissions scandal, which only came to light after public pressure forced VW to admit violations.
Despite the fear that some companies may try and hide or even lie about potential defects, regulators and others are encouraged by the potential benefits that could come from shared safety and defect information.
Brief Background on Vehicle Defect Issues & Related
The following provides a brief background on the scope of recalls (related to defective vehicle equipment), as well as some of the enforcement actions the NHTSA has taken against automakers for their failures to properly address and mitigate the risks associated with these defects.
Recalls from 1990 to 2013
- United States: GM, Ford, Chrysler – 1,530 recalls; affecting 259,358,260 vehicles
- Japan: Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Suzuki, Daihatsu – 844 recalls; affecting 92,025,034 vehicles
- Germany: BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Porsche – 396 recalls; affecting 15,517,055 vehicles
- Korea: Hyundai, Kia, Daewoo – 147 recalls; affecting 12,366,807 vehicles
- Fiat Chrysler was fined $175 million for delaying recalls and failing to properly carry out recall remedies.
- General Motors faulty ignition switches resulted in a $900 million fine.
- Toyota was fined $32.4 million for accelerator pads that stuck to floor mats, as well as for steer rods susceptible to breaking.
Contact a Boulder Car Accident Lawyer at Cederberg Law
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident resulting from defective vehicle equipment – or if you have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, contact a Boulder car accident lawyer at Cederberg Law to find out more about your best options for financial recovery.
Call us at 303-499-0449 or email us via the contact to meet with us at no cost or obligation to you. In addition to offering free initial consults and contingency fee options, our lawyers make hospital visits to ensure that you have access to the legal support you need – whenever you need it.