Millions of cars in the United States are unsafe to drive, prompting them to be classified as “park outside” or “do not drive” cars. In many cases, this classification is due to vehicle owners not keeping up with their maintenance. In others, it is because of manufacturer defects that result in a recall.
Illinois is eighth in the list of vehicle recall numbers in the United States, with CARFAX reporting that the state has over 92,000 cars classified as such. In the past, manufacturers have recalled vehicles with defects that make them dangerous or unusable. In many cases, these recalls have resulted in millions of cars being taken off the road. In this article, we will examine the worst of such cases in Illinois and the larger United States. Our car accident attorney in Chicago is prepared to assist if you are injured due to a defective or recalled vehicle.
The Kia and Hyundai Debacle
Kia and Hyundai have had a rough few years, with calls for their vehicles to be recalled coming from tens of states for two reasons. The first is the engine immobilizer issue. Some cars from these manufacturers made between 2011 and 2022 did not have this essential gadget.
This meant they could be started and driven without the key fob or key. Once people discovered this, they started stealing and driving them recklessly on the road. 17 states, including Illinois, had to call for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall these vehicles.
Although these calls did not lead to a direct recall, another issue would appear that would cause Kia and Hyundai to recall 3.37 million vehicles.
The issue was faulty brake systems that would leak fluid, cause a short, and start a fire. The most distressing thing is that this could happen at any time as long as the system had a current running through it. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had to issue a “do not drive” warning, urging owners to park their vehicles away from their homes and other structures.
1.7 million Kia vehicles and 1.6 million Hyundais 2012 and 2017 are being recalled.
Engine Mounts on General Motor Vehicles
General Motors had maintained an excellent reputation among American car enthusiasts for decades before its engine mount issues in 1971. These crucial parts would fail, causing the engine to tip over to one side while also increasing their power. This would cause the vehicle to be imbalanced and more difficult to stop.
By the time people started tracking these incidents in 1971, there had been over 18 severe injuries and 63 accidents from 172 reports. General Motors knew of the problem and understood that a recall would cost them billions.
After initially refusing to do the recall, they created a cable system to hold the engine to stop it from tipping over when the engine mount failed. Over 95% of the affected vehicles, (approx. 6.6 million), were fitted with the cable system.
This remains one of the worst recalls, not due to what General Motors did, but what they did not do. By not repairing the underlying issue, they applied a stop-gap and let close to seven million vehicles with dangerous defects remain on the road, potentially putting tens of millions of people in danger.
Ford’s Short-circuiting Ignition Switches
Ford has consistently remained one of the biggest car manufacturers, with the F-150 remaining the highest-selling truck in the United States for more than 40 years. However, the company has had a rocky past as it was forced to recall over 20 million cars in 1996.
It recalled the first 9 million due to faulty ignition switches that would short circuit and catch fire. This issue led to over 2000 reported fire incidents and about 30 minor injuries.
The company would also recall another 14 million cars due to a similar fire hazard. In this case, it was an electrical switch that was depressed when one was braking, which was overheating and causing fires.
Although many electrical system issues that could cause such fires have been fixed, there is still a risk. Anyone injured in such incidents has a right to sue the manufacturer for a defective product, and our attorneys can help you with that process. We have offices in 32 locations in 19 states, including Illinois, Kansas, Washington, and Utah, and are ready to help you find justice and get the compensation you deserve.
The Concealed Recall of General Motors
General Motors had to issue another recall in 2007 of their Chevrolet Cobalt models. They had to first recall more than 98,000 vehicles due to failing to meet safety standards. It was then realized that over 1.3 million vehicles had faulty power steering issues, leading to the recall of over 30 million additional vehicles.
The biggest flaw in the vehicles was an ignition switch that turned off all safety systems when being driven, leading to catastrophic accidents.
Takata Airbag Recall
This is the largest vehicle recall in history, with over 65 million vehicles recalled. The Takata airbag recall was so severe that the company declared bankruptcy in 2017. In 2013, people started getting injured when the Takata airbags in their vehicles started exploding and causing serious injuries.
These explosions would cause the airbags to release shrapnel that injured the vehicle’s occupants. Initially, only about 30 million cars from ten of the largest car manufacturers were affected.
However, Takata and Honda, one of their biggest partners, knew of this issue and did not tell anyone. This manufacturing defect killed at least six people by the end of 2004. The Justice system would find out eventually and fine both companies heavily.
Takata recalled the vehicles and went bankrupt. However, this did not stop the recalls, and it is estimated that about 65 million vehicles were recalled by 2019, and there are over 40 million more with these faulty airbags on the road that have not been recalled.
Vehicle manufacturers must ensure their vehicles are safe for owners, passengers, and road users. If not, they have to recall them and fix the issue. In some cases, these issues cause accidents before they are noted and fixed, leading to serious injuries. You can sue for financial and non-financial damages to get compensated if this happens to you.
Call us now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597 if you have been hurt in an accident involving a vehicle with defective parts or one that has been recalled.