Why Are Vehicles Recalled?

Airbag recall safety lawyer Manufacturer Recall of Cars Vehicles Airbags Takata

Recently, Toyota recalled another 543,000 vehicles. Just think about that for a moment; a half a million cars recalled solely because of malfunctioning airbags made by Takata. This was just a week after it was announced that Takata plead guilty and would pay a one billion dollar fine. For over 15 years, Takata knew it was making defective air bags, yet did nothing about it.

Toyota alone has recalled well over a million vehicles due to the airbags, which have so far resulted in several hundred injuries and at least 11 deaths in the United States.

Vehicles are recalled for various reasons. There may be systems that don’t work well together, defective parts, or other “bugs” that must be replaced. Often, these are harmless and would not be known to a driver.

However, as in the air bag fraud, Takata continued manufacturing these faulty air bags and selling them to companies like Toyota, Honda, and others. Once those vehicles were sold and on the road, and people became injured or died in crashes with the dangerous air bags, the media took notice. For a company like Toyota, which had recently weathered its own accelerator pedal issues, this could be fatal to their brand if they did not act promptly. The recall was handled quickly. Yes, recalls may be innocuous, but they can also be about life and death.

How Do You Know

First of all, when you purchase or lease a vehicle, you will likely be signed up for mail, email, and possibly text alerts and notifications of important news concerning your vehicle, your dealer, and any recalls or service requirements. Sure, there will be some fluff in there, but with the ads and come-ons is information you do need, like recalls.

A great way to stay on top of recalls is by following your dealer and manufacturer on social media. Any news worth knowing will be included on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Follow the mainstream news media. Even a cursory scan of the business section will yield great information about safety recalls, defects with vehicles, and other things of that nature.

Why It Matters

Safety is the obvious answer. Again, while some recalls may be as unimportant as a burned out fuse to your headlight that needs to be replaced, sometimes it can be as key as the exploding air bags that might kill you.

Another consideration is whether you can void your warranty by failing to take care of a recalled issue. Let’s say your manufacturer puts out a recall on the brakes. You ignore it, thinking you’re too busy to bother bringing the car in, drinking cold coffee and watching Fox News for an hour and a half while they fix it. You then have these faulty brakes fail as you slide right into another vehicle, causing significant damage to the car and its occupants. Could your car’s warranty now be void? While every case is unique, this could be a consideration. Definitely read your warranty for guidance, but to be safe bring in your vehicle for every recall. Much as it is smart to update every program on your computer regularly so as to keep things running smoothly, heeding recalls is just as important.

What Should You Do

To restate the obvious; bring the car in. Don’t hesitate. If you receive notice of a defect, treat it as a time sensitive “must do” on your list of things to do. Remember that for recalls there is never a charge for labor or parts. It’s their fault, they take responsibility, and it is a win-win for the manufacturer, the dealer, and you when you have the faulty part replaced and updated.


  • Stay connected
  • Scan the news
  • Keep your address current
  • Bring your car or truck in as soon as possible for any recalled issues

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If you've been in an accident and have questions, contact Chicago personal injury attorney Stephen L. Hoffman for a free consultation at (773) 944-9737. Stephen has nearly 30 years of legal experience and has collected millions of dollars for his clients. He has been named a SuperLawyer, has a 10.0 rating on Avvo, and is BBB A+ accredited.

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Categories: General