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2014 Vehicle Recalls Set New Records

From the exploding Takata airbags to the defective GM ignition switches, 2014 set a new record for safety-related vehicle recalls. A report from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration showed that automakers issued vehicle recalls for more than 60 million passenger cards and light trucks in 2014. That number represents more than twice the number of recalled vehicles in 2013 and doubles the previous record of 30.8 million in 2004.

GM, Takata Responsible For Half Of 2014’s Vehicle Recalls

Then NHTSA report showed that nearly half of the vehicle recalls in the U.S. stemmed from the Takata airbags and the GM ignition switches. The ignition switch flaw can lead to the vehicle losing power if the switch assembly is bumped or jostled. The company issued a vehicle recall notice on more than 3 million cars and light trucks worldwide. The Takata recall was prompted by reports of flying metal and plastic shrapnel when the airbag system deployed. The airbag recall included ten major automakers and affected more than 20 million vehicles.

U.S. Senator: Vehicle Recalls “Should Be A Wake-Up Call”

The vehicle recall problem became so serious that Congressional committees called for investigations into the auto industry. While Congress and the NHTSA have called for a nationwide recall of all cars with Takata airbags, the company has resisted, limiting their recalls to regions with humid climates. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) called the amount of vehicle recalls “troubling” and said that “this year should be a wake-up call” to automakers and parts manufacturers. He also told reporters that federal authorities must improve their abilities to “ensur(e) safety on America’s roadways.”

GM Vehicle Recalls Cost Automaker Millions

Congress has also started an investigation into the problems surround the GM ignition switch vehicle recall. The troubled automaker has already been fined more than $35 million for delaying announcements on the defective switches for nearly ten years. Liability lawsuits filed by families of those killed or injured due to the defect are expected to cost GM up to $600 million. A victim’s compensation fund has paid out 40 fatality claims and nearly 100 injury claims.

Takata Vehicle Recalls Affect Major Automakers

While GM executives deal with their ignition switch recall, many of its competitors are confronted with vehicle recalls of their own, thanks largely to the Takata airbag flaw. American automakers Ford and Chrysler, along with German manufacturer BMW and Japanese auto giants Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota, have all issued recall notices due to the defective airbags. Honda, Takata’s biggest customer, has issued a nationwide vehicle recall that includes more than 5 million vehicles.

Source: International Business Times

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