U.S. auto recalls hit record high 53.2 million in 2016
The auto industry recalled a record 53.2 million vehicles in the U.S. in 2016, according to the U.S. Transportation Department.
The record-setting recall campaigns were in part due to a massive expansion in callback to replace Takata Corp. air bag inflators.
Automakers issued a total of 927 campaigns, a 7% increase over the previous year.
According to the report, this is the third straight year that U.S. auto safety recalls have set a new record and topped 50 million. In the prior 20 years, annual U.S. auto recalls ranged from 10.2 million to 30.8 million.
Just last month, Takata pleaded guilty to a felony charge as part of a $1 billion deal with the U.S. Justice Department that included compensation for automakers and victims of its faulty airbag inflators. Until now, a total of 16 deaths worldwide have been caused by Takata air bags.
U.S. traffic deaths have also jumped dramatically in recent years. U.S. traffic deaths rose 8 percent in 2015, which makes it the highest annual increase in a half-century.
Takata Airbag Defect
The Takata airbag inflators sold to several automakers have been found to have a serious defect that has claimed the lives of many. The defect was found in the inflators that were made with a propellant that can degrade over time. This causes the inflator to rupture when the airbag deploys, launching pieces of scrap metal at the driver or passengers in the vehicle. This fast launch of debris has caused serious injuries and deaths.
Takata Airbag Recall Timeline
- 2004: First reported airbag explosion in Alabama. Deemed “an anomaly.” No recall issued.
- 2007: Three more reports of airbag explosions. No recall issued.
- 2008: Honda settles with some injured drivers for airbag explosions and issued a small recall of 4,200.
- 2009: Two people died from more explosions. Recall expanded with Honda and Acura.
- 2010: Honda and Acura recalls expand even larger, adding several more models to the recall. Deaths and injuries were not acknowledged.
- 2011: Recall grows to 900,000 vehicles.
- 2012: Recall continues to expand as more cases are found.
- 2013: As more airbag explosions begin to happen for other automakers, recall expands to 3.5 million airbags for BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Isuzu, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota.
- 2014: Recall grows again from 4 million in June to 6.1 million in October.
- 2015: DOT released a statement saying that Takata acknowledges airbag inflators it produced for certain vehicles were faulty.
- 2016: NHTSA announes that it is expanding the recall to include 35-40 million airbag inflators to be replaced through 2019. This tally is in addition to the 28.8 million airbags already recalled. Thus far, NHTSA shows that 8,168,860 airbags have been replaced.
- 2017: Takata has finally pleaded guilty to deceiving automakers about the safety of its airbags.
Is your car affected?
This recall has grown to many automakers, making it more likely that your vehicle is affected.
Visit safecar.gov to see if your vehicle is on the list.
Takata Airbag Lawsuits
If you or a loved one were injured or killed by these defective airbags, you could be in a position to take legal action. The Carlson Law Firm is prepared with award-winning lawyers that are passionate about personal injury and helping victims. Contact The Carlson Law Firm for a free consultation to speak with an airbag injury attorney to discuss your potential case.
- Written by Jill Fowler