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Millions of Recalled Cars on the Road Risk Lives

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Shalini Shah1 year ago

According to a report by NBC News, there are more than 30 million unrepaired recalled vehicles on U.S. roads, putting millions of motorists and passengers at risk.

Risk with Recalled Cars on the Roads

Safety experts are voicing concern, claiming that a growing number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities can be directly linked to recalled vehicles that have not been repaired. To make matters worse, CarFax, a vehicle safety tracking service, reports that there are more than 30 million unrepaired recalled vehicles on the road in the United States.

Part of the issue is also the size of the many recent recalls. For example, General Motors issued a recall in 2014 that affected roughly 2.4 million vehicles equipped with defective ignition switches. Follow-up investigations linked as many as 120 fatalities to the defect.

More recently, 14 automakers have recalled 24 million vehicles equipped with Takata-brand airbags.

So far, 11 deaths have been linked to defective Takata airbags with the most recent death occurring in Texas.

17-year-old Houston resident Huma Hanif bled to death after she was struck by metal shrapnel that was ejected from the Takata airbags equipped in her 2002 Honda Civic following a moderate impact. According to investigators, everyone should have been able to walk away from the accident.

Further complicating the issues, NBC reports these vehicles might have been sold several times following their original purchase, making tracking down the current owners can be impossible.

In fact, with even the deadliest defects, only 75% of affected vehicles have been repaired. The repair rate for older vehicles is only 30% and can sometimes even be lower.

In the Takata recall, only about 27% of the vehicles covered in the recall have been fixed. Because the number of affected models is so great, manufactures have struggled to find the needed replacement parts.

The Next Steps to Take

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been pressing the industry to be more pro-active about fixing safety problems and pushing manufacturers to take the necessary steps to find car owners and come in for repairs.

Companies such as General Motors and Honda have even started offering financial incentives to boost response rates and get car owners to come in for repairs.

Many safety advocates believe new regulations will be necessary to push for more repairs on recalled vehicles. NHTSA supports proposals that would require repairs before owners could register or re-register their vehicles.

Unfortunately, this idea has not gained much support in congress. Lawmakers did approve a law requiring car rental companies to pull vehicles from their fleets until repairs have been made.

The number of recalled vehicles continues to grow, but there is no consensus on how to fix this problem.


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