NHTSA Wants Bigger Fines for Automakers

With more than 60 million vehicles recalled, 2014 was a record-breaking year for auto recalls. In fact, vehicle recalls nearly doubled between 2013 and 2014. According to Mark Rosekind, the new head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the penalties currently imposed on carmakers are not high enough. Testifying before Congress in December 2014, Rosekind said he would like to see the current $35 million limits on penalties increase to at least $300 million.

Rosekind also criticized automakers for slow responses to consumer complaints and poor handling of recalls in 2014. The NHTSA head also stated that 2015 could see even more recalls. In 2014, the NHTSA issued more fines against automakers than in any other year in the agency’s history.

Two Major Auto Recalls in 2014

The high number of recalls in 2014 can be attributed to two large recalls that dominated the news throughout the year. General Motors was criticized for widespread faulty ignition switches that forced the Detroit automaker to recall 26 million vehicles. The company admitted that it has known about the defective ignition switches since 2004 but failed to act. The problem resulted in at least 42 fatalities and 58 injuries.

Another major recall in 2014 involved vehicles from numerous manufacturers that featured Takata-made airbags. The airbags can explode on impact rather than deploy, sending shrapnel flying throughout a vehicle’s interior. Automakers recalled 8 million vehicles for the defective airbag issue in 2014, however, the New York Times recently reported that three major Japanese carmakers have recalled another 700,000 vehicles for defective Takata airbags. The latest recall applies to Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru models. So far, the defective airbags are responsible for at least six deaths and more than 100 injuries.

Chicago Product Liability Lawyers

We depend on carmakers to take action when they become aware of vehicle defects. When car companies fail to alert the public to defective vehicle components, they put people’s lives at risk. The personal injury and product liability lawyers at Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen, Ltd. pursue justice on behalf of people and families who have been injured by dangerous and defective products. Our lawyers hold vehicle manufacturers responsible for their inaction. Call today at (312) 779-6610 to speak to an Anesi Ozmon attorney about your case.

This website has been prepared by Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen, Ltd. for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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