In our blog we will try to provide you with general information regarding car accidents, motorcycle crashes, and personal injury cases, as well as updates in important cases and statutes dealing with family law in New Hampshire. This is not to be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and small facts can make a difference.
2013 Demonstrates a Massive Increase In Automobile Recalls
With regards to automobile recalls, 2013 was a record setting year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released a comprehensive list of the total number of vehicles recalled in 2013, and The L.A. Times has published an article stating the following:
”Overall, automakers recalled almost 22 million cars last year, the NHTSA said. That was 34% higher than the previous year and the most since 30.8 million vehicles were recalled in 2004, according to agency.”
The NHTSA’s report determined that vehicle manufacturers issued 632 recall campaigns within the United States in 2013, which covered the 22 million vehicles mentioned in the L.A. Times article. By comparison, there were 581 vehicle recalls in 2012, which covered approximately 16.4 million automobiles. The automobile manufacturer with the number of official recalls last year was Toyota, with Chrysler following a close second. Honda, Hyundai-Kia, and Ford rounded out the list of the top 5 automotive manufacturers with the highest number of recalls.
Among the list of Toyota’s recalls were Enzas, Avalons, and perennial favorite, the Camry. These vehicles were primarily recalled because the manufacturers discovered that a random defect in the automobiles’ design could cause the power steering to turn itself off or the airbags to deploy without cause. The primary reason why so many vehicles were recalled for the same issue was due to the fact that Toyota utilized identical components for multiple different vehicle models. While this is an effective method for ensuring that automobile prices remain low, it creates a dangerous reality if one of the components is defective.
Vehicular recalls are conducted when an automobile manufacturer discover that an element of their product poses a significant, inherent danger that should not be present. While all automobile makers are capable of issuing recalls, the recalls they conduct are among the largest in the manufacturing industry, which is why they generally receive so much attention in the press. New vehicles are a rather common product, and if all components are not 100% effective, then a defective automobile can create a very dangerous scenario. Chrysler was forced to issue a recall for nearly 3 million Jeeps after it was discovered there was an increased risk of fire breaking out if this make and model were rear ended in an accident.
In general, the most common defects seen in automobile designs include inferior tires and defective brakes; however, this list also includes:
§ Airbag failure
§ Failure of doors to latch properly
§ Gasoline fires
§ Tendencies to rollover during collisions
§ The crushing of roofs
§ Failure of seatbelts to properly restrain a vehicle’s occupants
The aforementioned L.A. Times articles discusses how, although a particular automobile manufacturer may have a low number of recalls, this does not necessarily mean that they are producing safer vehicles. The total number of recalls made is generally dependent upon how popular a manufacturer is with the general public. The higher the number of automobiles sold within a particular country, the higher the number is that will need to be recalled. Despite the fact that Toyota ranked highest for the number of vehicular recalls last year, they also remain among the highest rated vehicles for safety in consumer testing and reports.
Moreover, a recall on a particular make and model of a vehicle should not be viewed as an indicator of trouble within a particular brand or company. When a potentially harmful defect is discovered, the responsible course of action on the manufacturer’s behalf is to issue a recall. If a manufacturer never issues a recall regarding their products, it is more likely to be due to the fact that safety checks are not being conducted as they should. Consequently, the responsibility of discovering any harmful defects is left to the consumer.
The mention of an automobile recall raises a number of issues in regards to New Hampshire personal injury cases. When an NH motorist is harmed by a vehicular defect, even if a recall was issued, the manufacturer of the vehicle can still be legally held responsible for any injuries incurred. If a motorist is injured due to a defective automobile that was not recalled, the legal case becomes even more complex and raises a number of legal issues, like whether or not the manufacturer was aware of the existing defect but was negligent in not issuing a recall.
All motorists who use New Hampshire’s roadways have a legal and personal duty to drive with reasonable care; however, not all automobile accidents are caused by negligent drivers. Regardless of the cause of an accident, the parties responsible for the accident can be held legally liable, even if the motorist was partially to blame for the accident. Determining who is at fault in an accident can be a complicated matter, which is why injured motorists are strongly encouraged to retain the services and guidance of an experience New Hampshire personal injury attorney to guide them through the process.
In the state of New Hampshire, legal personal injury claims must be filed within three years of the date of the accident. It is imperative to retain legal counsel as quickly as possible after an injury has been sustained. The longer a plaintiff waits to file a claim, the more difficult it becomes for crucial evidence to be gathered and documented. If you have been injured in an automobile accident that you believe was caused by a defective vehicle, contact one of our firm’s NH personal injury attorneys today to learn more about your legal rights and to receive the compensation you deserve. Your initial consultation is free.
Serving all of New Hampshire. Offices in Nashua, Manchester, Concord, and Portsmouth.
This site does not constitute legal advice. An attorney client relationship is formed only after an agreement is entered into between an Attorney of Liberty Legal and a client is reached. Past results do not guarantee future results.
Disclaimer: Some cases are referred to other law firms with consent of client.
Liberty Legal Services PLLC. Main office: 250 Commercial St #3020 Manchester NH 03101. (603) 262-3196