The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that during 2013 the auto industry recalled nearly one-third more vehicles in the U.S. than it sold. Recalls, totaling 22 million, increased 25% compared to the preceding year. This is the auto industry’s highest rate since 2004.

Many of the nation’s leading carmakers are involved in massive campaigns to alert the public and repair faulty equipment, including:

  • Ford
  • General Motors
  • Toyota
  • Hyundai
  • Honda
  • Chrysler
  • Mazda
  • Nissan

Automakers often issue recalls voluntarily for defects, such as airbags, ignition switches, seatbelt/restraint systems, tires, etc., based on their own research. Sometimes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires the manufacturers to issue recalls based on accident data or investigations of owner complaints.

When a recall is issued, the manufacturer is required to contact all owners of affected models by mail. However, one of every four cars recalled in the U.S. isn’t fixed, leaving millions of potentially dangerous vehicles on the road. The problem is that consumers sometimes mistake recall announcements for junk mail and do not read them. Because unrepaired faulty equipment can lead to injury or death, the NHTSA is mandating that car manufacturers begin to use a special label on their mailers with the phrase, “important safety recall information issued in accordance with federal law,” to distinguish notifications from advertising.

If you suspect that your vehicle may have been recalled for a specific issue, you can check the NHTSA database at safercar.org or call the Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236. You’ll need to have the vehicle identification number (VIN), which is located on the car’s title and either on the driver’s side dashboard or doorjamb.

Unrepaired faulty equipment in any automobile can be life-threatening to the driver, passengers, and other motorists. If you have been involved in a Florida car accident with a car that may have been recalled, it is in your best interest to get your case evaluated by an experienced Fort Lauderdale accident attorney. Contact David M. Benenfeld for a free consultation.