The Toyota Effect: More Voluntary Auto Recalls this Year

Friday, August 27, 2010

Barely 12 months ago, the process of initiating an auto recall was a long one, and involved an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and lengthy negotiations between the automaker and the agency, before a recall was finally announced.  In fact, in the past, automakers avoided announcing recalls because of the damage to their reputation and brand value of their cars. 

Not anymore.  Ever since automakers got a first-hand glimpse of what can happen to an automaker and its carefully developed reputation, when it fails to inform Americans in time about possibly defective vehicles, they have become more enthusiastic about announcing recalls on their own, without prodding from the government.  It is a trend that Los Angeles car accident lawyers hope does not stop once the terms  "Toyota" and "sudden acceleration" begin to recede from memory.

Over the past 12 months, there has been a 100% increase in the number of cars and pickup trucks that have been recalled in the US.  Consumers received a total of 22.4 million recall notices, including 10 million from Toyota.  Auto safety groups who had always found it hard in the past to get automakers to admit that there was a problem and recall their vehicles, now say that it's much easier to get them to do the same. 

Auto manufacturers seem to be more tuned in to the need to step up and remove vehicles from the market when a problem is discovered, rather than procrastinating and delaying matters until it blows up in their faces.  The trend began late last year soon after the first few Toyota recalls, and has continued since then.  In 2010, there have been more numbers of cars recalled than in any other year.  In fact, we are set for a smash of the record set in 2004 when close to 31 million vehicles were recalled. 


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