Fiol Law Group|Posted in Car Accidents on April 16, 2019
It is the legal duty of every automaker to exercise reasonable care in the design, creation, and marketing of its vehicles. If a vehicle manufacturer falls short of these duties, the results can be catastrophic. Drivers depend on manufacturers for reasonably safe and reliable vehicles. Unfortunately, many autos have fallen short over the years– often to save money – and caused life-changing personal injuries. Here are the top three auto recalls in the United States, as of 2019.
Takata Airbag Recall
The number one largest recall in auto industry history is Takata airbags. From 2013 to present day, 41.6 million vehicles are under recall for containing potentially dangerous Takata-brand airbags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns consumers that the airbags could explode when deployed due to defects that cause issues after long-term exposure to heat and humidity. Exploding Takata airbags could cause serious injuries or death to vehicle occupants in an accident.
- Eye injuries
- Hearing damage
- Facial lacerations
- Wounds from shrapnel
- Neck penetration injuries
- Torn arteries
- Skull fractures
- Head injuries
- Bleeding in the brain
Defective Takata airbags have inflators that may explode during deployment because of the deterioration of ammonium nitrate. These airbags have caused 16 confirmed deaths that likely would not have occurred otherwise. Certain 2001-2003 models of Honda and Acura vehicles, the 2006 Ford Ranger, and Mazda B-Series trucks are at the highest risk for defective Takata airbag explosions. By December 2019, additional vehicles will join the recall list, bringing the number of recalled airbags to 70 million.
Ford Vehicle Recall for Cruise Control Problems
Ford cars and trucks with model years between 1991 and 2004 may experience conflagration issues with its cruise control system due to a product defect. Ford has recalled 14.9 million vehicles – the largest vehicle recall in history. The initial recall came out in 2005, when Ford Motor Company announced a problem that could cause overheating of the cruise control deactivation switch and a fire under the hood. Drivers do not have to be using cruise control for the fires to happen.
Models involved in the recall include Ford F-150s, Expeditions, Lincoln Navigators, and Broncos. Brake fluid may leak through the deactivation switch, causing corrosion with the system’s components. Over time, this could lead to a short circuit and the potential to cause a fire at the switch. Warning signs that may occur prior to conflagration include a faulty cruise control system, brake lights that stop working, low brake fluid, and the inability to move a vehicle out of Park.
Toyota Power Window Switch Recall
In 2015, Toyota announced a potential fire risk from faulty power window switches. The recall affected 6.5 million vehicles worldwide. As the fourth recall relating to the power window switches, however, the total number of recalled vehicles is up to 14 million. Defective power window switches could cause a short circuit on the driver’s side. This could lead to a fire within the door. Toyota believes inadequate greasing of the switch during manufacture could cause it to short circuit over time. The part can overheat and potentially cause a fire.
If you are driving a vehicle with a defective component, a dealer can apply a heat-resistant grease to it or replace broken circuit boards for free. Travel to your local auto dealer and explain that you have a Toyota vehicle that is part of the current power switch recall. The dealer will inspect for signs of a problem and help you avoid a dangerous fire while driving. Check all Toyota recalls to make sure your vehicle does not contain any potentially life-threatening defective parts.
If an auto defect caused you or a loved one significant personal injury in Tampa, speak to an auto defects attorney about your rights. You may have grounds for a product liability claim against the vehicle manufacturer.