45 Million Recalled Vehicles Still on Our Roads – Still Unrepaired!
A new NBC report has some alarming facts for the average driver. They say you can tune your engine, rotate your tires and make sure your brakes are working right – and you may still be riding in a ticking time bomb. This is not much of an exaggeration. At least 45 million vehicles, that’s one in six vehicles, suffered from an unrepaired safety problem that is subject to an outstanding recall, according to a recent study by J.D. Power. In fact, millions more vehicle could be involved. We may never know the real number because it can be challenging to track compliance rates on older recalls.
The J.D. Power study is in line with other recent research and reflects the fact that the U.S. has seen a significant increase in safety-related recalls – from faulty ignitions to defective airbags that can shoot shrapnel into the passenger compartments. The steady surge in recalls combined with the number of vehicles that still remain unrepaired are serious causes for concern. So far, barely a third of those vehicles covered by the Takata airbag recall have been repaired and it’s unclear how many more will eventually be recalled.
Factors that Pose a Challenge
There are a number of factors that affect how long it takes for the automaker to complete repairs on recalled vehicles:
- Age of the vehicles: Consumers are less likely to take in older vehicles to make recall fixes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the completion rate for vehicles with model years between 2013 and 2017 is 73 percent compared to 44 percent for vehicles manufactured between 2003 and 2007.
- Vehicle type: NHTSA’s numbers also show that big vans have the highest overall recall completion rate – about 86 percent followed closely by compact premium SUVs at 85 percent. Compare that with sports cars that have a completion rate of 31 percent and SUVs at 33 percent.
- Size of the recall: The completion rate for individual recalls affecting fewer than 10,000 is 33 percent while a recall that encompasses more than 1 million vehicles has a 49 percent completion rate. The reason for this may be that manufacturers are having a tough time getting all the parts in time to make the fixes.
- Type of recall: The highest recall completion rates for components are for powertrains, electrical brakes, while the lowest involve parts like airbags and suspension.
Auto Product Liability Issues
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a dangerous or defective vehicle, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced auto product liability attorney will be able to advise you regarding your legal rights and options.