Deadliest Automotive Recall Past
As we’ve discussed in previous posts on the Protect My Car blog, recalls are an unfortunate but often unavoidable part of owning an automobile. While most recalls are relatively harmless and require simple fixes, sometimes they can be major manufacturing defects that cause catastrophic damage. If your vehicle has an outstanding recall on it, it’s essential to have the necessary repairs done right away, no matter how insignificant they may seem.
The automobile is an integral part of our modern world: Our lives revolve around transportation. There’s a lot you can do to protect your vehicle, like purchasing an extended auto warranty, keeping up with routine maintenance, and being aware of recalls.
The number of recalls has been increasing steadily the past few years, mainly due to increased standards and stricter enforcement by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the growing number of shared parts between manufacturers and vehicles. This means it’s imperative to pay extra attention to recall notices and get them resolved immediately. You can also use the NHTSA’s handy safety issue and recall lookup tool to see if there are any recalls involving your vehicle.
We’re sharing this list of the most costly recalls in history not to frighten, only to emphasize the importance of being aware.
The 6 Deadliest Recalls
In the early 2000s, a massive recall that affected over 14 million Firestone tires was launched after it was discovered that certain tire models were experiencing major tread separation and exploding. Ford’s Explorer SUV bore the brunt of the tread separation issue, along with numerous other Ford models. This deadly problem caused an estimated 271 fatalities. Potential causes varied, but faulty manufacturing methods were deemed to be a significant part of the problem.
An estimated 180 deaths were caused by poor gas tank positioning in the 1971-1978 Ford Pinto and Mercury Bobcat sedan. Located behind the car’s rear axle, the tank would rupture in a rear-end collision, spill gasoline, and explode. The recall was initiated in 1978 and affected some 1.5 million Pintos and 30,000 Bobcats.
In 2017, GM faced hundreds of lawsuits and was forced to pay $120 million in settlement claims after defective ignition switches found in over 2.7 million of its cars ended up killing 124 people. While vehicles were moving, the ignition switch would suddenly change to accessory mode, which turned off the airbags and caused drivers to lose control. In some cases, the entire car would turn off while driving.
Limited to Ford models, this 1981 recall was launched because vehicles were inadvertently slipping out of Park and into Reverse. 23 million Ford owners were notified of the problem but not before 100 people were killed because of it. Interestingly, Ford’s solution was not to actually fix the problem — they provided owners with a dashboard warning sticker.
Back in 2009, Toyota recalled nearly eight million cars for a defect that was causing vehicles to suddenly accelerate. An issue that affected both Toyota and Lexus models, it resulted in nearly 90 deaths and around $5 billion fines for Toyota. The problem was caused by several factors, including floor mats that trapped the accelerator and ‘sticky’ gas pedals.
At least 23 people died and hundreds more were injured because of defective airbag inflators made by the Takata Corporation of Japan. The recall began with Honda in 2014, and it has grown to affect 19 different auto manufacturers and tens of millions of vehicles. Long-term exposure to heat and humidity caused the airbags not to inflate and protect occupants but rather explode upon deployment.
Ignoring a Recall: It Can Cost You Everything
It’s clear that resolving recalls is enormously important. Unfortunately, sometimes recalls move beyond inconvenience and become deadly hazards, in addition to being extremely costly. Fortunately, manufacturers are mandated to perform all recall service and repairs free of charge.
Beyond adhering to recall notices, another step you can take to protect your vehicle is purchasing an extended car warranty. Maybe you’re considering buying a used car or your current vehicle is past its factory warranty and you want to be protected from unexpected maintenance costs. That’s where Protect My Car and its affordable, comprehensive extended warranty plans come in. Be sure to check out Protect My Car’s Ambassador Policy, which covers a wide range of vehicles, no matter their age or mileage.
The point of this article is awareness. If there’s an active recall for your vehicle, it’s critical you get it taken care of as soon as possible. Between that, routine maintenance, and auto warranties, you and your vehicle should be safe on the road for years to come.
Protect Your Car Beyond An Open Recall Notice
Even though the manufacturer will cover the necessary repair's on any recall notice, future repairs will not be covered! Protect My Car offers a wide range of plans that can save you thousands future repairs. Also, with policy's for vehicles not normally covered due to age/miles, PMC has made the effort to cover as many consumers as possible! With high reviews on reputable website's such as Trustpilot and Consumer Affairs, where they still actively engage with their reviewer's, do speak for themselves. So, don't wait for your car to breakdown and wonder about the enormous burden of an expensive car repair bill, fill out a FREE EXTENDED CAR WARRANTY QUOTE!