The National Highway Traffic Safety Association announced recently that nearly 18 million vehicle products were recalled throughout 2012, including child safety seats, tires, air bags and the vehicles themselves.
In many cases, our Portland car accident lawyers know that some of the top vehicle manufacturers issued recall after recall after recall. These are companies that we trust to get it right the first time. Too often, that is not happening, and there are situations in which that lack of oversight has led to serious injury and even death.
The roads are dangerous enough as it is without having to worry that some defect in our vehicle or our child’s safety seat is exacerbating the problem.
And yet, the recalls are continuing so far for 2013.
In March alone, Honda, Ford and Toyota all issued major recalls.
First, there was Honda. The Japanese car maker is recalling some 250,000 Honda and Acura vehicles across the globe due to problems with inadvertent braking – a problem some car experts are predicting will be an ongoing issue, with years to come as more and more vehicles are powered by complex electronic systems.
Similar problems were noted back 2000-2001 models of Mercedes-Benz M-Class sport utility vehicles, which received some 500 complaints regarding the electronic braking systems.
The most recent Honda recall involves some 185,000 vehicles in the U.S., including more than 100,000 Pilot sport utility vehicles, more than 60,000 Acura MDX sport utility vehicles and more than 20,000 Acura RL sedans. All of those recalled were made in 2005, save for about 800 of the Acura MDX models.
As with so many recalls handed down by the NHTSA, this one started by a consumer complaint. The driver said she was driving her 2005 Honda Pilot at around 45 miles per hour when the vehicle started braking, causing her to lose control of the vehicle and veer of the road. Escaping the situation safely, she assumed it was a fluke. But then it happened again.
The driver said it wasn’t a matter of a mere few seconds. As she put it, “It takes control of the vehicle.”
Honda has investigated the problem and has indicated the defect is in the vehicle’s stability control system, which helps the driver to maintain control by, at times, selectively applying the brakes. Loose bolts and oxidation of wiring are causing the problems.
Just a few days after that recall, Ford issued its own recall, this one of nearly 200,000 2004 through 2007 models of Freestar and Mercury Monterey vehicles. Apparently, these vehicles have a defective third row stowable seat latch. The problem is reportedly caused by structural weakening and corrosion of the seat anchoring mechanism in the third row. This might not seem like a huge problem, but it could result in serious injury to back seat passengers in the event of a crash from the rear.
And then the most recent recall was issued by Toyota, which has recalled nearly 210,000 FJ Cruiser vehicles amid concerns that seat belts may suffer integrity issues, as they are affixed to the rear doors, which could suffer cracks if closed repeatedly with strong force.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Portland car accident, contact Zbinden & Curtis. Call (503) 287-5000.