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Legal Loopholes Expose Many People to Accident Risks Posed by Dangerous Vehicle Defects [Part I]

With the arrival of summer, families are making vacation plans which might include getting a loaner car while you take your car in to get it serviced or making arrangements for a rental car.  While you might presume that used car dealerships and rental car agencies confirm that the cars they provide to customers are mechanically sound and comply with safety recalls, there is no factual basis for this assumption.  Although new car dealers are required to comply promptly with car defect safety recalls, this requirement of federal law does not apply to dealers that provide loaners, rental car companies, and used car dealerships.

2014 Brought a Record Number of Vehicle Safety Recall Defects

Although the loophole that exempts used cars, dealer loaners, and used cars from recalls has always posed a serious danger to the public, this risk has been magnified by the record number of recalls in 2014.  Last year, carmakers recalled a record 62,000,000 vehicles for safety defects.  The most prominent recalls that dominated the news involved faulty ignition switches and defective airbags.  General Motors (GM) recalled millions of vehicles because of a potentially deadly ignition switch defect.  The defect caused the switch to rotate into the off position while the vehicle was moving, disabling steering, brakes, and airbags.  GM ignition switch defects has claimed the lives of over a 104 people as of May 18, 2015.

While the ignition switch recall was limited to GM, the recall of airbags manufactured by Takata® involved as many as ten different automakers and constitutes the largest recall in history.  The airbags at issue rupture violently when they deploy causing metal shrapnel to be propelled at unsuspecting drivers.  The number of vehicles affected by the defective airbags continues to rise at the time of the writing of this blog post, but the toll claimed by the defect is currently at six fatalities and dozens of fatalities.

Along with these vehicle defects, recalls have been related to a range of other safety issues involving faulty fuel gauges, fire hazards, impaired steering, sudden brake failure, and other airbag defects.  The public was inundated with safety recalls, and over 700 recalls were announced during 2014.  The failure of Hyundai and GM to act promptly enough when implementing recalls even resulted in significant fines imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Given the massive number of safety issues with vehicles, loopholes that exempt rental cars, used vehicles, and loaners from recalls is concerning.

Greenberg Stone and Urbano:  Seeking Maximum Recovery for Damages Sustained Due to Negligence 

If you or a love one has been injured in a motor vehicle collision, our Miami Car Accident Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano will tenaciously pursue the full compensation you deserve.  For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across South Florida.  We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Our skill and dedication has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.

 

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