It’s the driver’s worst fear: getting behind the steering wheel of their car, driving along the road to work like a normal day, and completely losing control of your car for reasons out of your control. Maybe it was the water on the road from the excessive rain the day before, or maybe it’s a problem rooted deeper in your car: vehicle manufacturer malfeasance. Should your car manufacturer have issued a recall when it knew of defects?
In today’s news, car manufacturers like General Motors are under fire for covering up bad ignition switches, costing them $900 million dollars to settle over 100 law suits and a priceless cut into their reputation. According to Daily Report on September 18, GM was responsible for at least 169 deaths. “That fact was uncovered in April 2013 during an investigation by Marietta attorney Lance Cooper, who was representing Ken and Beth Melton in the 2010 death of their daughter Brooke, a nurse. She died on her 29th birthday after her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt went out of control and rolled off a highway, down a bank, and into a creek” (Daily Report p. 7). Because General Motors hid one problem that could have easily been fixed with a recall, they are now paying billions of dollars and have been in the media’s eye for almost two years for this scandal.
Another corporation that is under scrutiny is Volkswagen for their emission’s scandal. With new technology, VW was able to cover up their ignition emissions by placing technology in their vehicles that could put them in “test mode” while being tested and they would switch to normal when on the road. The overall problem: VW diesel cars were emitting over 40 times the legal nitrogen oxide pollutants. This scandal is estimated to be responsible for anywhere between 16-94 deaths in the United States since 2008 (ibtimes.com).
Fiat Chrysler was also penalized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration due to their lack of repairing vehicles with safety defects. They then had to buy back many of their vehicles that were sold and they agreed to a 105 million dollar civil penalty and underwent federal oversight.
If you are experiencing problems with your vehicle or even if you are not, research to see if there are any recalls required for your specific make and model. If there are no recalls but you are still experiencing problems, always trust your instincts and make sure to get your vehicle professionally serviced if you feel that there is a deeper issue. Sometimes the car wrecks that happen on a daily basis are caused by a manufacturer cover up of defects which should have resulted in a recall.