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NHTSA: More vehicles recalled in 2013 than in the past 9 years

When people purchase a motor vehicle, one of the top priorities that car buyers have is to find a safe, reliable car or truck. After all, it can be difficult enough to avoid hazards like dangerous drivers or slippery roads without having to worry about whether the brakes and airbags will work. And with the improvement in technology over the years, it would make sense to assume that vehicles are getting safer and safer.

But recent reports suggest that car makers still have a long way to go when it comes to putting out vehicles that are safe and free from defects. According to a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more motor vehicles were recalled in 2013 than in the past nine years. In all, there were 632 recalls announced last year, affecting 21.9 million vehicles.

A primary factor resulting in increased recall numbers appears to be the manufacturer's practice of using more common parts. In order to save money, car makers are apparently using more uniform pieces in many different makes and models. If these parts are defective or are part of a defective system, more vehicles are affected when a recall is announced.

One of last year's most significant recalls involved 4.7 million Chrylser minivans. Due to a product defect, air bags were being deployed on the wrong side of the vehicle. Imagine being in an accident and suffering catastrophic injuries because of a faulty air bag. This was the case in 282,000 vans that were part of the recall. 

According to the statistics reported by the NHTSA, Chrysler had the highest number of recalls, but Toyota had the highest number of vehicles recalled. Mazda only had two recalls and Mercedes-Benz only recalled 747 cars.

Minnesota drivers expect their vehicles to be safe and free from defects. This can be especially true when it comes to safety equipment like air bags, seat belts or even the brakes. But as this recent report illustrates, there are still many vehicles out on Minneapolis roads that have defective parts or flawed designs. If these contribute to an accident, or fail to provide adequate protection in an accident, victims should know that they have the right to hold a manufacturer responsible for damages that result from a crash.

Source: WTVQ, "US vehicle recalls hit nine-year high in 2013," Feb. 3, 2014

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