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Purchasing a new vehicle is often an exciting experience, but if the vehicle malfunctions due to a defect, the result can be dangerous. Unfortunately, a record number of auto defects were reported in 2014. West Virginia drivers and those in other states may witness even more recalls this year.

In 2014, over 60 million automobiles were recalled; this was the first year this took place. The previous record was set in the year 2004 and involved only a little more than 30 million vehicles. Increased public attention on vehicle defects may mean that the number of recalls issued this year will exceed last year’s number.

Companies are more apt to recall problem vehicles today in an effort to prevent deaths, such as those connected to last year’s air bags by Takata and the defective ignition switches from GM. GM in 2014 recalled nearly 27 million trucks and cars in the United States, which was a record number for a single automaker. The company’s ignition switches have been tied to a minimum of 42 deaths as well as 58 injuries.

Injuries stemming from auto defects in West Virginia may be costly to treat and prevent a person from being able to work for a time. Those who are injured because of a malfunctioning vehicle have the right to seek damages, which may help to address the financial ramifications of the accident. Family members of those killed in a defective car also have the right to pursue damages in civil court. It is necessary to prove that the negligence of the vehicle manufacturer caused an accident and that the injuries and/or death resulted from that negligence.

Source: bloomberg.com, “Auto Recalls This Year May Surpass Record 2014, NHTSA Chief Says“, Jeff Plungis, Jan. 6, 2015