With more technology and automation being integrated into every vehicle that rolls off of the assembly line, there are bound to be a few bumps in the road of innovation. Auto safety recalls happen, and it is important for you to be aware in case your car is a model under recall. The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was passed to give the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the authority to issue vehicle safety standards and the power to force manufacturers to recall vehicles that have safety-related defects or do not meet the safety standards. With a variety of protocols and inspections in place, mistakes happen. Often the vehicle manufacturer will initiate the safety recall, but sometimes they need to be influenced by the NHTSA or forced by court order.
While the manufacturer and dealership will contact owners in the event of a recall, here are some of the most recent auto recalls:
General Motors– GM has recalled more than 4 million vehicles, mostly in the U.S., because of a software defect with the deployable airbag system. The worst-case scenario is that the cars sensing and diagnostic module, the computer that can tell what the car is doing and controls airbag deployment, can enter “test mode” which results in the airbags not deploying and seat belts stop working properly. Because this is not a mechanical issue, the software update is a quick fix. The cars affected by GM recall include:
- 2014-2016 Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet SS, Chevrolet Spark EV
- 2014-2017 Buick Encore, GMC Sierra 1500, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Trax, Chevrolet Caprice police car and Chevrolet Silverado 1500
- 2015-2017 Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Silverado HD, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL, GMC Sierra HD, Cadillac Escalade and Cadillac Escalade ESV
Ford Motor Company– due to a malfunction of the door latch, Ford has issued a recall of more than 2 million vehicles. The problem is a mechanical issue with the door latches that are prone to opening while the vehicle is in motion, or not shutting at all, which can lead to accidents and injuries. Ford has contacted owners that have been affected by this recall, but if you think you may be one of them you can visit the Safety Recalls section on the Ford website and enter your vehicle identification number.
Toyota Motor Corp.- more than 300,000 (94,000 in North America) of the widely popular gas-electric Prius hybrids have been recalled due to a defect in the parking brake mechanism. Toyota has said that the cable for the parking brake can disengage unexpectedly, causing the car to possibly begin rolling away if left in any other gear than park. The affected models were manufactured from August 2015 through October 2016 and owners will be notified shortly. Visit the Toyota website for more information on their recalls.
Honda Motor Co.– certain models of the 2016 Honda Civic are being recalled (350,083 total) for a defect in the software that engages the electric parking brake (EPB). The EPB may not engage if it is applied immediately after turning the car off, which can lead to the car rolling away and the risk of crashing. Honda is notifying owners and dealers will update the software to correct this problem.
Kia American Motors– Kia Optima’s with the 2.4L engine that was manufactured between November 13, 2015, and April 23, 2016, have been recalled due to the right front axle driveshaft being susceptible to cracking and failing. Kia will notify owners and the dealers will replace the driveshaft for free.
It is important to always pay attention to any information regarding auto recalls because it can directly impact you and your family. If you have been affected by one of these recalls or are affected in the future, it is important to know whom to call. Having an experienced personal injury attorney by your side can make all the difference in the world when it comes to understanding your rights, compensation and what to demand from the manufacturer. Contact the Blaut Wiess Group in Plantation, FL at 954.634.1800 for a free consultation.