While the United States auto industry has taken its fair share of bumps and bruises with recalls and fines, that doesn’t necessarily mean the industry is financially hurting. Consumers have seemed unfazed by the controversy as they continue to buy cars and trucks at record levels and at record prices.
“The fact of the matter is, there is a plethora of recalls, and after a certain point in time people become numb to them,” John Humphrey, Senior VP of J.D. Power’s global automotive practice, told USA Today. “We have more recalls now than we have ever had and yet the industry is selling more cars than ever.” Consumer Safety advocate Ralph Nader believes the industry has improved, but there are still significant improvements that need to be made. “Today, the cars are much safer, less polluting, modestly more fuel efficient...but there is still a long way to go,” Nader explained. “We’ve ceased to see just carelessness, ignorance and indifference. These are increasingly criminal acts, now prosecuted because there is no criminal penalty in the motor vehicle safety law.”
Despite the recent shortcomings of the auto industry, Americans are buying more cars than ever before at higher prices than ever before. In 2015, automakers sold more than 17.47 million new cars and trucks, the most in United States history. All the meanwhile, the automotive industry is currently in the middle of the largest recall crisis in United States history. For example, the Takata airbag recall affects 32 million vehicles made by 33 automotive brands. While the media focuses on the recall and automakers send out recall notices directly to owners, it doesn’t grab the attention of the general public. According to a recent study, by Kelley Blue Book, which surveyed 1,000 vehicle owners, only 52% were aware of the Takata recall. That percentage ranked lower than the Zika Virus (84%) and Hillary Clinton’s email issues (87%).
“Consumer opinions on the Takata airbag recall seem to be another unfortunate case of people thinking ‘it won’t happen to me,’ but this is easily the largest, most expensive automotive safety issue in United States history,” Karl Brauer, Senior Analyst for Kelley Blue Book, expressed.
With the economy continuing to rebound and the summer months rolling on, the roads will be humming with cars. Because of the increase in cars on the road, drivers should be extra cautious to make sure they arrive at their detestation safely. If you or somebody you know has been injured in a car accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Injuries can range from bruises to closed head injuries, many of which may not even present themselves immediately following the accident. Our attorneys can help you deal with stressful insurance companies while you get the rest and medical attention you need. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.