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Unsafe Vehicles On Florida Roads

Every year, vehicle recalls impact millions of drivers across the nation. The figure seems to be increasing each year. Unfortunately, many Florida drivers are driving vehicles that have been recalled but not yet fixed. In fact, the state ranks in the top ten for vehicles with open recalls. Fixing a vehicle that has been recalled is important to keep you and your family safe.

Major Recalls In Recent Years

The number of vehicles that have been recalled over the past few years has risen dramatically, mainly in part because of a couple massive recalls. Although the numbers have not yet been fully compiled for 2017, auto recalls hit a record high in 2016, with 53.2 million vehicles being recalled. This surpassed a previous record high of 51.1 million, set the previous year.

This was mainly in part due to a recall on Takata Corp. airbag inflators. The inflators are faulty because they can deteriorate when exposed to high temperatures and humidity. When this happens, the inflators unexpectedly blow apart a metal canister, which sends sharp, hot shrapnel flying throughout the car.

The faulty inflators have been responsible for nearly 20 deaths globally, including on the in the Tampa area. Additional recalls are issued every month, and it’s been estimated that the total number of vehicles impacted by the Takata recall would exceed 40 million, with 70 million defective Takata airbag inflators being replaced. At the beginning of 2018, an additional 3.3 million vehicles were recalled. To date, 19 automakers have been involved with the recall.

There has been significant fallout from the Takata recall. The company reached a deal with the United States Justice Department in which they paid over $1 billion in penalties while pleading guilty to a felony charge, causing the company into bankruptcy protection.

Driving Vehicles That Have Been Recalled

It’s been estimated that nearly 25% of the cars on Florida roads have actually been recalled. SUVs and minivans, typically used to transport families, are likely to have been the most recalled. Carfax has also indicated that there are 63 million recalled vehicles on the road throughout the country, which is a 34% increase from the previous year.

Many drivers are unaware that their vehicles have been subject to recall. The family of the Tampa driver who passed away because of a Takata malfunction has said that they had no idea their car had been recalled because they didn’t receive notice. Typically, auto manufacturers must send notice in the mail that a recall has been issued. However, these notices are often lost in the shuffle. Additionally, they are only sent to the original owner of the car, making it difficult for secondhand car owners to find out that a recall has been issued.

Companies have also been taking measures to ensure that vehicle owners are aware of recalls. Some automakers have been going door-to-door to make drivers aware that their car has been recalled. Not only does this save lives, but it also reduces the liability an auto manufacturer has if an accident were to occur. If an accident occurs and automakers can prove that the driver knew of the recall, they will likely not be liable.

Unfortunately, many recalled vehicles haven’t been fixed because there is not enough product supply to meet the current demand. The Takata recall has been unprecedented in both the complexity and size, as Takata was the main supplier of airbag inflators. Without them, it’s been difficult for auto manufacturers to secure replacement airbag inflators that can be used in place of the defective ones. In September, a report indicated that only 43% of recalled vehicles have actually been repaired even though Takata recalls began in 2001.

Figuring Out If Your Car Has Been Recalled

If you are the first-hand owner of a vehicle, you can take your car to your dealership to see if there have been any recalls issued for your vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also provides an online lookup tool, which is available to everyone. Drivers can enter their vehicle identification number into the search tool to see if there have been any recalls issued for their vehicle.

Additionally, Carmax has been trying to assist car owners whose vehicles may have been recalled. Carfax Communication Director Larry Gamache has said that the company is working with manufacturers and government officials to make recall information more accessible. Drivers can now log onto the Carfax website and entire their VIN or license plate number. Carfax will then send alerts to your email or cell phone if there is a recall alert impacting your vehicle. Users can enter up to five vehicles on an account, ensuring that a recall will not be missed.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

Unsafe Vehicles On Florida Roads

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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