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63 Million Unsafe Recalled Vehicles Endangering U.S. Today

— April 4, 2017

Car and Driver reports a count of 63 million recalled vehicles that are still unrepaired. There are more than 260 million vehicles on the road, so about one out of every five vehicles on the road is endangering Americans every day.

“…the list of states with the highest rate of recalled vehicles in use without completed repairs is led by Texas, Hawaii, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, in that order. One in three Texas-registered vehicles is operating with an open recall, according to Carfax data.1

Recall Rates by Company

Recall rates by company, over the period 1985 – 2016, range from the best at 531 cars per thousand for Porsche to the worst at 1805 per thousand for the VW Group. Note: The VW Group has fully owned Porsche since 2012, but treats Porsche separately because NHTSA data lists it as a separate manufacturer. On the other hand, the VW brand and VW Group’s Audi luxury nameplate are treated as one.

Rankings by company included criteria such as Recall Severity and Recall Initiator (NHTSA or the automaker) according to a Wards Auto article.2

Legal Focus – Suppliers

Wards reports “Veteran litigators say in the event of a defect notification from an OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer], suppliers should quickly identify employees involved and lock down communication on the topic.” 3

Legal Focus – Rental Cars

After a decade, a law was enacted to protect people from defective rental cars thanks to Cally Houck and many supporters.4 5 We are safer, but not yet safe from defective vehicles being sold or lent out by dealers.

Legal Focus – Used Cars
Michael R. Lemov recently wrote:

“The incoming Congress needs to act now to close a gaping loophole in the 50-year-old federal automobile safety law. That gap in consumer protection exposes millions of buyers of used vehicles, such as cars, vans and SUVs, as well as drivers, occupants and other people to the risk of death and injury from unrepaired safety defects in the cars they purchase.

That’s because buyers of used cars are not protected by the federal recall safety law. There are a few state and local laws that bar selling vehicles with unrepaired safety recalls outstanding. But the federal safety law mandates only that new car manufacturers send out notices and repair defects that affect the vehicle’s safety.” 6

Envelope stamped Safety Recall Notice. Car key sitting on top of envelope.
Image courtesy of

Consumer Groups Sue Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

To obtain safety, fairness, and justice, consumer groups have had to sue the FTC to do its job on behalf of the public against major corporations. In a press release issued earlier this year (Auto Safety/Consumer Organizations Sue Federal Trade Commission Over Decision Allowing General Motors and Car Dealerships to Engage in False Advertising of Unrepaired Recalled “Certified” Used Cars7), Michael Brooks, Acting Director of the Center for Auto Safety (CAS), said:

“Even if there is a 100% certainty that an unrepaired safety recall defect will immediately kill anyone who buys a so-called ‘certified’ car and their family, the FTC would allow car dealers to advertise that car as ‘safe’ and ‘repaired for safety.’ Clearly the Court should intervene and force the FTC to reverse itself.”

What has happened to government “of, by, and for the people”?



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