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Steven J. Klearman
Steven J. Klearman
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Auto Recalls Reaching Record Highs

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An estimated 9 million vehicles have recalled to-date in the United States, including recalls by Toyota which recently recalled 10.8 million vehicles and General Motors, which recalled 2.6 million cars. If the current trend continues, automakers could break a 2004 record of 30.8 million recalled vehicles in a year.

General Motors and Toyota are two automakers under fire and facing bad publicity and allegations that they withheld safety concerns.

Toyota’s most recent recalls were announced before the company even had repairs developed. This falls on the heels of the Justice Department alleging the automaker covered problems that caused intended acceleration in some vehicles. The Japanese automaker agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle that case, but a wire fraud charge can be resurrected if it fails to comply with the settlement terms.

GM on the other hand just initiated a recall of 2.6 small cars for faulty ignition switches that the company has connected to at least 13 deaths. Of the recalled vehicles, 2.2 are in the U.S. To complicate matters further, GM also recalled some 3.4 million more vehicles and is facing a Justice Department investigation.

Automakers face fines up $7,000 per day for missing a deadline to answer question from the NHTSA. US automakers are required to notify NHTSA and recall cars within five days of discovering a safety defect.