Earlier this month, Toyota announced its recall of over one million of their hybrids due to the risk of electrical system problems that may result in fires. While only 200,000 of the affected vehicles are being used in the United States, it affects vehicles made between June of 2015 and May of 2018 according to CNN Money.
Owners of the affected vehicles should be receiving notices in the mail where the company offers instruction on how customers can get their vehicles repaired free of charge.
In the course of the announcement the Toyota representative declined to comment on whether the electrical system defects had caused any injuries or deaths at this point, instead cautioning drivers that if there is sufficient heat generated while driving, the risks of vehicle fires increase.
This recall comes following a 2016 Prius recall involving 1.7 million vehicles for problems related to airbags as part of the wider recall of more than 20 million Toyota cars over air bags.
Why do you need to pay attention to car recalls?
Well, most importantly, it saves lives. A high-profile example of this was when a recall involving the Jeep that killed young actor Anton Yelchin. The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee he was driving was subject to recall for rollaway problems, consistent with the event that ultimately caused his death. In this event, the notice of the recall, affecting 800,000 was mailed days after his accident.
Another high profile and widescale auto recall involves nearly 70 million vehicles related to the Takata airbag scandal. Honda was the automotive manufacturer hardest hit, but it wasn’t alone. Car makers that were affected by this massive recall included: Toyota, Dodge, Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, and Fiat Chrysler. Other car makers were affected by this recall as well and the recall continues to have far reaching effects on the car market in general.
That’s why paying attention to recalls can literally protect you from life threatening injuries, and it can also prevent accidents on the road that could lead to avoidable injuries.
In the past there have been recalls over things like fires starting while using cruise control, seat belts not functioning properly during accidents, airbags failing to function properly during accidents, fires breaking out while driving down the road, and other highly dangerous situations.
Car recalls aren’t taken lightly by car manufacturers
An important thing to remember is that car makers don’t issue car recalls lightly. The mere act of notifying millions of customers is a daunting task for car companies. Plus arranging for the parts and labor to accommodate faulty cars adds even more to their expenses. Add in the PR nightmare that many recalls can cause, and you’ve got a mess on your hands. What we’re trying to say is, car recalls are serious news that car manufacturers take seriously, so you should too.
One other reason you should keep an eye out for recalls? It comes down to liability. If you are in an accident and failed to obtain necessary repairs related to the recall, after being notified and given a reasonable amount of time to implement repairs, you may be considered ineligible for compensation for damages and/or injuries resulting from the accident. That’s probably the last thing you’re going to want to deal with should you get caught up in an accident.
Car shopping with recalls in mind
The time you spend shopping for the perfect car is a great time to explore any open recalls on the cars you are considering, the steps you need to take to repair unaddressed recall issues, and where you can go within your area to get the necessary repairs.
Shopping around with recall information in mind also helps you identify the makes and models that tend to have fewer recalls issued and which cars are most appealing to you. If you have the vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) you can even look for outstanding, or open, recalls on the specific vehicle before you buy it. It’s one of the components you may wish to add to your car shopping, and buying, process.
Getting more facts before you buy a car is better for you and allows you to make better informed buying choices. You do your due diligence when you’re buying a home, shouldn’t you do the same for a car?