Automobiles aren’t manufactured with the expectation of remaining functional forever. Auto parts and tires may need replacing at some point, and a vehicle’s owner may need to replenish fluids to keep a car in good working order.
Many motorists expect the wear and tear they put on their vehicles to require them to repair it. Car buyers generally don’t envision manufacturers discovering a deadly defect that affects massive amounts of motorists. Such situations occur, though, and result in manufacturer recalls.
Some notable manufacturing defects have resulted in large auto manufacturer recalls over the past few decades. These examples may give you a better idea of the situations that often warrant manufacturer recalls.
Igniting gas tanks
One of the most notable auto manufacturer recalls involved an estimated 1.5 million Mercury Bobcat and Ford Pinto vehicles starting in 1978. Manufacturers recalled these vehicles after 180 motorists died when their gas tanks ignited during rear-end collisions.
Gear shift issues
Ford carried out another early recall on an estimated 23 million of its vehicles in 1981 after 100 motorists die when their cars’ gear shifts unexpectedly moved from park into reverse.
Faulty ignition switches
General Motors (GM) recalled an estimated 2.7 million of its cars in 2017 for having faulty ignition switches that moved to “accessory” mode without advance notice. This sometimes resulted in the vehicle cutting off, causing motorists to lose control. It also disabled their airbags. GM ended up settling lawsuits for $120 million after 124 motorists died and others suffered injuries due to the defective ignition switch.
Toyota recalled 8 million of their cars in 2009 after 90 motorists lost their lives because the vehicle’s floormats became stuck under its accelerator, resulting in its sudden acceleration. The automaker paid $5 billion in fines to resolve outstanding lawsuits.
What can you do when an auto defect leaves you injured?
As consumers, we assume that a product is reasonably safe if a manufacturer is introducing it on the market. That’s often not the case, though. You may be eligible to hold an auto manufacturer liable for their negligence in manufacturing and any injuries or loss of a loved one.