NHTSA Announces Record Vehicle Recalls in 2014
2014 was the worst year on record for vehicle recalls, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Last year, nearly 64 million vehicles were recalled nationwide, topping the previous recall record of 30.8 million vehicles set in 2004. The recalled vehicles were the subject of 803 separate recalls issued in the last calendar year.
The NHTSA has pushed automakers to report potential defects and announce voluntary vehicle recalls more quickly, especially after serious problems with GM ignition switches and Takata air bags went ignored for years, resulting in dozens of deaths. The NHTSA estimates that the ignition switches have so far been responsible for 52 deaths and that the air bag inflator ruptures have caused four deaths and may be implicated in a fifth incident. Dozens of other recall-related injuries have also been reported.
To date, about 3.5 million vehicles have been recalled. Regulators caution, however, that 2015 may top 2014 in total recalls once the year is out. The NHTSA notes that this increase may be due to improved oversight and more diligence on the part of auto companies seeking to avoid the kind of situations in which companies like GM and Toyota found themselves after recalls seemed to take too long to announce to the general public.
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