When it comes to auto recalls, most of our blog posts and reports concern vehicles being recalled and how dangerous the equipment issue may be to drivers and their passengers.
But even as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issues recalls through the weekend to keep up with all of the automakers’ announcements, reports show about 70 percent of all recalled General Motors vehicles have been fixed. That comes fourteen months after the company recalled over 2 million small vehicles fitted with faulty ignition switches. The issues expose drivers to serious or even deadly risks since the ignition switches may cause the engine to be turned off unexpectedly. As a result, the safety features will not work in the event of a crash.
The average recall campaign is never 100 percent effective. According to federal agencies, most automakers are not able to fix all recalled vehicles after the recall is issued. But out of the 2.3 million recalled vehicles, 1.6 million have been fixed. All of these cars are on the road today. In the country, recalls’ success rate is almost 71 percent.
After one and a half years, the completion rates hits 75 percent.
The recall was first announced by GM back in February of 2014. At the time, the company issued the recall after ten years of problems left unaddressed. The company later acknowledged executives had been aware of the deadly problem for more than a decade. In spite of all the reports involving accidents and even deaths, the company only issued the recall years later.
The potentially hazardous switches could slip and end up running out of the run position. Engines stall as a result, increasing the risk of major personal injuries since the air bag systems are not ready to go when the car crashes. During the ten years the problems were not addressed, 80 people died and nearly 150 personal injuries were reported.
The government fined GM and as a result, the company had to pay $35 million for delays in reporting the issue to the NHTSA. All automakers are required to report equipment problems once they learn of a problem.
In spite of the fine, the NHTSA was also under scrutiny for its lack of action. According to several reports, the federal agency received reports of accidents for years and it never noticed the pattern.
After the recall, the company wasn’t able to fix the cars at a fast rate mostly because there weren’t enough parts. As Delphi Corp. cranked up assembly lines, the company was able to switch the ignition parts more quickly.
In their drive to reach all impacted vehicle owners, GM used Facebook, personal calls from dealers and even letters from GM CEO Mary Barra to get people to have their cars repaired.
Hopefully, all vehicles will be fixed until the end of the year. To learn more about the recall and how GM is proceeding to have the issue addressed, follow this link.