Dangerously Slow Recall Rates
Recalls are expected. Most major automobile companies recall certain models of their car so that they can implement a solution to a potentially dangerous vehicle defect. If the public isn’t notified of these dangers early on, however, serious accidents can result. As years go by without defects being addressed, more accidents continue to happen. Companies are liable to be fined if they don’t handle known defects and recalls appropriately. Perhaps the larger issue is the fact that even when these giant auto companies pay large fines, it doesn't persuade them to act faster the next time a vehicle defect is discovered.
Major Ford Recall Rolled Out Slowly
In 2012, Ford recalled almost a half-million vehicles. The recall of 421,000 Ford Escapes (model years 2001 to 2004) occurred because a problem had been identified with the gas pedal. According to Ford, there was not enough clearance between the engine cover and the cruise control cable, which makes it possible for the gas pedal to stick when it is pushed to the floor.
A week before Ford issued the recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began looking into the problem. NHTSA had received a total of 68 complaints—13 of which involved car accidents that resulted in nine injuries and one fatality. Some critics think that Ford's actions were not fast enough, especially since the vehicles are more than eight years old, implying that Ford has known about the possible problem for years. Consumer group Center for Auto Safety said that because the auto manufacturing giant knew about the issue earlier on, they should be fined for failing to recall the vehicles back in 2005. The group wrote a letter to NHTSA asking for a fine of $17 million to be imposed against Ford.
Toyota Recall: Moving Forward Way Too Fast
Being fined for not taking adequate action in a recall situation is not new. In fact, when certain Toyota vehicle models began having sudden acceleration issues, Toyota was fined almost $50 million for delaying recalls and not properly informing regulators of the vehicle defects.
January 2016 Update on Recall
It recently came out that Toyota repeatedly tried to cover up “sticky pedal” findings by even hiding information concerning which models were susceptible to this acceleration problem. Dozens of reports by media outlets were denied and called “irresponsible.” Eventually, the truth came out that Toyota was simply denying the facts instead of owning up to the problems with their vehicles. In 2014, Toyota was indicted and fined $1.2 billion—the largest penalty of its kind for an auto manufacturer. The company now looks at this as a major step in putting their mistakes behind them and regaining the trust of their customers.
If you’ve recently been injured due to an auto defect, do not hesitate to contact a San Diego auto defect lawyer from The McClellan Law Firm. Our attorneys are highly experienced and will fight for compensation on your behalf. Contact us today to get started!
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