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Nine-year high for recalled vehicles

At last month’s Detroit Auto Show, many automakers touted their innovations in fuel efficiency and safety. New offerings and prototypes included cars that would run on electric fuel cells (partially and fully) as well as cars that could detect hazards and apply the brakes before a human driver could.  Clearly, the future of safety innovations is bright.

However, in light of the coming innovations, more automakers are recalling vehicles in Dallas and across the nation to correct problems and exchange defective parts. The Associated Press recently reported that nearly 22 million vehicles were recalled in 2013. This was the highest number of cars brought back for repairs by automakers since 2005.

Leading the way in the number of recalled vehicles was Toyota, with more than 5 million vehicles recalled. Chrysler also had a large number of cars recalled, with 4.7 million subject to recall. Mercedes-Benz had the fewest cars recalled in the United States, with 747 cars recalled.

Recalls are generally initiated in response to consumer complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who then conducts research to determine if a recall is necessary. Depending on the severity of the safety concerns, the NHTSA may recommend that automakers initiate recalls on their own before seeking legal action to compel a recall.

Also, recalls have legal implications for those injured in crashes ostensibly caused by defects. Essentially, if an automaker failed to take reasonable steps to prevent such injuries (by initiating a recall to correct a problem) it could be held liable. For more information on how your rights can be affected by a recall, an experienced attorney can help. 

Source: “US vehicle recalls hit 9-year high in 2013,” Feb. 3, 2014

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