It is difficult to open a newspaper, read a news website or turn on the TV news without seeing yet another car recall. It seems every day, a new recall is issued for another vehicle. But, are the incidences of recall increasing?
It is not your imagination. The number of recalls has definitely increased. In 2016, the automobile industry had the largest number of recalls in U.S. history. 2017 and 2018 recalls, though not record-setting, still numbered in the millions.
There are a number of factors contributing to the increase. Manufacturers received much unwanted publicity for failing to issue quickly issue recalls with issues such as Takata Airbags, GM iginitions, and Toyota unintended acceleration. As a result, public scrutiny of the car industry has increased. Manufacturers have been issuing recalls at a faster pace to avoid negative publicity linked with hiding vehicle problems.
Another factor is that car manufacturers can end up buying parts from the same supplier. Cost and availability contribute to this practice, especially in the age of the digital market. Many car manufacturers bought their faulty airbags from Takata, leading to different cars from separate manufacturers all having the same malfunctioning airbags. Even if the problem only resides in one part, if multiple car manufacturers use that part, the consequence is more widespread recalls.
In addition, the internet has eased the reporting process and made it difficult to keep problems from receiving publicity. Now, people with problems regularly report them online, where they will often find a community that experiences the same problems.
Also, the increase in recalls also is just due to more cars being made. The car manufacturing industry is still experiencing a rebound after the recession, with numerous vehicles being made each day. But, the percentage of cars being recalled has also climbed, so the recall increase can't be directly correlated to the production numbers.
If you receive a recall notice for one of your cars, you should take the vehicle to your manufacturer's dealership as soon as possible for repair. If the problem persists even after the recall work has been performed, you should consider contacting an experienced lemon law attorney.