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Could 2015 be the year of the recall?

If you were tired of hearing about all the auto recalls in 2014, you probably were not alone. It seemed like every other week there was another recall announced. From General Motors’ ignition switch debacle that appeared to grow with every announcement, to the Takata airbag issue that harmed people it was supposed to save, a record number of cars were announced to be recalled last year.

Unfortunately, recall notices applied to a number of vehicles that were on the second hand market. This means that a considerable number of used cars were subject to recalls, but since their original owners no longer had the cars, chances are that the vehicles were not returned to a dealer for repair. 

Because of this, federal regulators are concerned that 2015 could see even more recalls. After all, with the record number of fines paid by automakers (GM and Honda paid nearly $100 million in fines combined), it is reasonable to believe that they will be more aggressive about recalls this time around.

After all, automakers have a duty to use reasonable care in protecting consumers from defects that could put them in danger. Part of this duty involves promptly announcing recalls and encouraging owners to bring their vehicles to dealers for repairs once defects are discovered.  Should an automaker fail in adhering to this duty, and a consumer is injured as a result, the automaker could be held liable.

Moreover, the constant barrage of recall notices may be disconcerting to consumers, but that remains to be seen.

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