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More auto recalls over the past year

With crash avoidance being a high selling point for many 2014 model year vehicles, it appears ironic that more cars are being recalled for safety issues. According to a recent Associated Press report, automakers recalled a more than 21 million vehicles in the United States last year. The number was a nine-year high for recalled cars and trucks.

The number of vehicles recalled came through 632 recall requests according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Japanese automaker Toyota recalled the most vehicles, with more than five million recalled in 15 separate announcements to correct suspected defects. As for U.S. automakers, Chrysler had the most recalls with 36 announcements totaling 4.7 vehicles. 

Recalls are an essential part of an automaker's duty to provide (and maintain) safe vehicles for consumers. As a matter of law, automakers have an ongoing responsibility to take reasonable steps to correct defects that could lead to accidents. If there is a problem that raises to that level, automakers are best served by announcing a recall so that the problem can be corrected. Otherwise, the potential for liability to thousands of consumers looms. Basically, if an accident can be traced back to a defective part that should have been corrected through a recall, the automaker could be held liable.

So why are there so many recalls? It appears that automakers are trying to save money by using many of the same parts that appear on a number of vehicles. So when one part is deemed to be defective, it can affect a number of vehicles.

It will be interesting to see how many cars are recalled this year.

Source: AZFamily.com "US vehicle recalls hit 9-year high in 2013," Feb. 3, 2014

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