According to data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), vehicle “recall completion rates for most component categories fall within a range of 60% to 75%.”
In other words, between 25 and 40 percent of recalled auto parts are not fixed by the owner, car dealership, or manufacturer. Sadly, these open recalls put drivers and others on the road at an increased risk of an accident.
Does your vehicle have an open recall? Below, the car accident lawyers from the DeMayo Law Offices outline the most recalled vehicles of 2018 and provide important information about the recall process.
Most Recalled Vehicles of 2018
Some of the most popular vehicles on American roadways are also some of the most recalled. The Ford F-150, for example, suffered a massive recall of approximately 1.6 million trucks due to a seat belt malfunction that could potentially ignite interior fabrics following a crash.
Ford topped the list with another 1.3 million recalls for the Ford Fusion and its luxury equivalent, the Lincoln MKZ. In this case, the recall involved a loose bolt in the steering wheel, which could loosen overtime allowing the steering wheel to detach.
The Ford Focus also had 1.3 million recalls in 2018. The Focus, model years 2012 through 2018, are equipped with a faulty canister purge valve, which can cause the car to stall, especially if the gas tank is less than half full.
The Fusion appeared again on the list, along with the Ford Escape for an additional 500,000 recalls involving the bushing that attaches the shifter cable to the transmission. A degraded shifter cable bushing may allow the transmission to be in a gear state different than the gear shift position selected by the driver.
Foreign automakers reported hundreds of thousands of recalls as well. Toyota recalled more than 800,000 Prius vehicles with defective fail-safe driving mode software.
The Kia Forte, Forte Koup, Optima, Optima Hybrid, and Sedona all had recalls related to airbag control systems and seat belt pretensioners. In total, more than 500,000 Kia vehicles were recalled in 2018.
Other popular models that made the recall list include the Audi A4, the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Accord, and several Nissan and Infiniti vehicles.
The good news is there’s an easy way to see if your vehicle has any open recalls. All you need is your vehicle’s identification number, or VIN. Use this online tool to check for open recalls on your vehicle.
What Happens When a Part or Vehicle is Recalled?
The recall process is initiated by a manufacturer when a product poses a public safety risk. In most cases, a recall is a voluntary process initiated by the vehicle’s manufacturer, but sometimes a government agency is involved.
Specifically, a recall includes informing the public and removing the product from retail. Manufacturers are also obligated to fix, replace, or reimburse consumers for recalled products already in circulation.
Large vehicle recalls, like the Takata airbag recall, are typically announced on national news outlets. However, smaller recalls may not make the nightly news.
Manufacturers are supposed to reach out to auto owners affected by a recall. Unfortunately, people move, cars get sold to new owners, and oftentimes recall information doesn’t always get to the current owner.
NTHSA reports that vehicle owners are often less motivated to seek a recall remedy for a matter they perceive to be low-risk. For example, one report indicates the older a vehicle is, the less likely the owner is to either know about the recall or take steps to fix it. High-end luxury vehicles like Ferrari, Tesla and Porsche have some of the highest recall completion rates.
Even with strict regulations and oversight, auto parts and vehicles continue to be recalled with alarming frequency. Unfortunately, a defective vehicle may cause an accident, injury, or worse.