Automakers recalled 21.9 million cars and trucks in the U.S. in 2013, which is a nine-year high. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, automakers initiated 632 separate vehicle recalls in 2013, which is up 9 percent from 2012.
Experts say that recalls are up because companies are using more common parts in their vehicles, which can save money. However, when a part is discovered to be defective, many more vehicles have to be recalled.
Chrysler Group initiated the most recalls, with a total of 36 recalls which affected 4.7 million vehicles. Chrysler's recalls included about 1.6 million vehicles that posed a danger of fire in rear-impact crashes. GM has the second highest number of recalls, with 23. Honda was third in the number of recalls, with 15 recalls that involved almost 2.8 million vehicles.
However, Toyota recalled the most vehicles. Toyota recalled 5.3 million vehicles in 15 separate recalls. Included in those recalls were 1.6 million vehicles that contained air bags that could deploy without the vehicle being in a crash.
In 1966, the federal government began requiring automakers to recall vehicles for safety defects. Since that time, almost 541 million vehicles have been recalled. Of the vehicles that were recalled in 2013, almost seven million were recalled because the NHTSA initiated an investigation because of complaints filed by consumers. About 15 million vehicles were recalled because the automakers reported a problem.
Automakers appear to be more proactive in issuing recalls when defects are discovered than they have been in prior years. When a vehicle is discovered to be defective, the automaker has a legal obligation to recall it, and if it fails to issue a recall it can be held liable for not only monetary losses to anyone injured in the vehicle, but also for punitive damages, which are designed to punish.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a dangerous and defective automobile, you have a legal right to damages. Call the Houston automobile defect attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 713-489-9493, or visit us on Twitter.