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What Have Been the Largest Recent Auto Defect Recalls?

Published on Dec 16, 2019 at 3:21 pm in Product Liability.

Close up of tire tread

When manufacturers find a defect in an automobile, they will usually send out a letter to vehicle owners saying that they need to take it back to the dealership to have the defective part fixed. The defects aren’t always severe and could just be a small part that needs to be replaced in just a couple thousand vehicles.

Other times, though, the defective products could cause life-threatening accidents and affect over a million cars. When this happens, defective vehicle owners should only drive their car to get the part replaced. Continuing to drive the car with the defect would be extremely dangerous.

Here are some of the largest auto defect recalls in recent years.

Takata Air Bag Recall

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that tens of millions of vehicles with Takata airbags have been recalled. In 2013, the airbags’ inflators would rupture and send metal shrapnel flying at passengers in the car, and that’s when the recall first came into effect. Takata recently added 1.4 million front driver inflators to the recall list on Dec. 4 of this year, which brings the total airbags recalled up to 56 million.

Some of their most dangerous airbags are their Alpha airbags, which have been known to explode and injure or kill the vehicle driver or passenger. Unfortunately, 16 people were killed by the defective Takata airbags when they exploded, and at least 250 have been injured.

Chrysler Cruise Control Recall

In 2018, Chrysler recalled 4.8 million vehicles with model years between 2014 and 2018 because they had a short circuit that kept cruise control from shutting off. Luckily, the defect did not cause any accidents.

Typically, cruise control can be shut off via the button that engaged cruise control. With this defect, the button did not work to cancel cruise control, so drivers had to manually press the brake in order to cancel cruise. If the brake doesn’t work in drive, the driver can shift the car into neutral before pressing on the brake until the car stops.

GM Ignition Switch Recall

Back in 2014, General Motors recalled 2.6 million vehicles for a defective ignition switch. The defect affected the operation of the airbag system because the ignition could easily be moved out of the “run” position by something like a heavy keychain.

This would cut power to the car and potentially cause an accident. Even worse, since the car wouldn’t be running, the airbags wouldn’t deploy, which could cause even more serious injuries to the passengers.

The defect has been linked to 109 deaths and over 200 injuries because GM did not recall the affected vehicles for more than a decade, as reported in an article by The Detroit News. Cars involved in the recall ranged from model years 2003 through 2011.

Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration Recall  

Even though it was from 10 years ago, a recall from 2009 makes the list because of its size. Nine million Toyota vehicles were recalled for unintended acceleration problems that may have caused 89 deaths and 57 injuries, according to CBS News.

The defect caused vehicles to suddenly accelerate, which kept the drivers from slowing down or stopping as they intended. In traffic, this turned deadly because the drivers were trying to stop, but they couldn’t because their acceleration pedal was stuck. Complaints of this defect started in 2000, but the recall didn’t take effect until 2009.

Our Attorneys Will Fight for Justice

If you aren’t alerted about an auto defect recall in time, you could get seriously injured in a car accident that isn’t your fault. The manufacturer should be held responsible. You might feel like your case will be difficult enough because you also have to worry about recovering from your injuries. But going up against an auto manufacturer makes the case feel even more daunting. That’s where we can help you.

At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, we will fight for you against a large company and ensure that you are compensated for your damages, physical injuries, and any wages you lost from the accident. Contact us today so that we can start handling the legal side of things while you focus on recovery.