Data highlights that vehicle recalls continue to get more frequent in the U.S. In fact, the NHTSA, or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has instructed Tesla to roll back more than 150,000 cars until they meet safety concerns related to defective touch displays. The underlying issue in that case is the memory chips in impacted Model X and S vehicles.
The population affected by car recalls fluctuates throughout the year in America. However, on average, over 30 million individuals are affected every year because of vehicle recalls. If you were in a crash because of a vehicle defect, a car accident lawyer in Atlanta may be able to assist you.
Auto Companies and High Recall Rate in the U.S.
Last year, 50% of vehicle recalls were in the year’s first half and involved four auto companies. It’s not Tesla that has had the most vehicle recalls. In fact, it’s not even close. That title goes to Ford. Other auto manufacturers with high vehicle recall rates are Forest River, Mercedes-Benz, and Daimler Trucks in the U.S.
In the case of Ford, issues with vehicle bushing and airbags were the main reasons for the high vehicle recall rate. Those issues do, after all, compromise vehicle safety. However, engine leaking is also one of the reasons Ford’s vehicles have been recalled. In fact, more than 345,000 vehicles have been impacted by recalls in the last two years. Most recently, faulty brakes in Ford vehicles were a cause of a substantial number of vehicle recalls.
When it comes to vehicle recalls, Mercedes-Benz is right behind Ford. There have been almost 300,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles impacted. The NHTSA states that Mercedes-Benz vehicles have experienced corrosion of brake boosters that spikes their recall rate tenfold. These recalls revolve around R-Class, GL-Class, and ML-Class Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
Daimler Trucks produces dedicated truck vehicles. Last year, the auto company saw many fractured steering issues that made it difficult for truck drivers to retain control of their vehicles. Over 7,000 Daimler vehicles were impacted in a single year.
High Vehicle Recall Rate: What is NHTSA’s Criteria
Auto manufacturers would probably argue that the vehicle recall considerations of NHTSA are far too comprehensive and complex. However, NHTSA is quite objective about issuing vehicle recalls. In fact, a recall can be issued for defective car seats, tires, integrated software, technology, or other widespread problems.
NHTSA is a primary disseminator when it comes to vehicle recall information. However, most auto companies don’t mind submitting their own recall reports. And that’s because auto manufacturers want to see if they can detect issues with their vehicles that are causing recalls.
Recall rates tend to skyrocket when there are issues like:
- “Sticky” brake or gas pedals
- Failed steering components
- Inoperable car windshield wipers
- Wiring problems
- Airbag defects
The fact is that anything that can lead to a potential injury and is a widespread problem in many vehicles can trigger a recall. Clearly, NHTSA wants to make sure there are no cars on the road that can compromise the safety of Americans.
However, there are also non-safety vehicle recalls. These recalls tie together with cosmetic issues rather than safety. These issues highlight the imperfections and inconsistencies in the modern-day manufacturing process. These issues can include:
- Poor quality of paint
- Gapped panels
- Dysfunctional heating, stereo, or air conditioning
- Wear and tear on vehicle components like brakes or shocks
Timeline to Review a Recall
NHTSA has no generalized period to assess a recall, but the initial process of investigating a potential issue generally takes at least a year. If issues are challenging to detect or not widespread, the review may take longer. The agency carefully considers defects that can cause safety issues, collects related evidence, and runs a thorough engineering analysis.
NHTSA also uses request information along with inspections, surveys, and additional tests. Investigators at NHTSA finally submit their report, and if the panel concurs – regulators can issue an official recall request to the auto manufacturer.
Auto companies can challenge a recall and take the matter to court, but recall orders are generally supported by considerable evidence that is very difficult to overcome.
It is vital to understand that vehicle recalls can stem from a single problem or a combination of issues. NHTSA reports thoroughly explain what the observed problem is, how it may be corrected, and what potential risks are associated with it. Drivers should check for recall notices applicable to their make and model of vehicle regularly to ensure they stay safe on the road.