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Many auto defects go unrepaired, which may lead to injuries

Based on government data, more than 400 million cars have been subject to recalls in the past two decades. In fact, a record 51 million vehicles were recalled last year alone. If the auto defects driving the recalls are not addressed, this can create safety problems for consumers throughout the United States, including those in West Virginia.

Unfortunately, many auto defects are not addressed. An estimated 45 million cars on the road today that were recalled from 2013 to 2015 still have not undergone repairs. This means that the goal of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to achieve 100 percent recall completion rates is not being met.

According to recent research, issues related to recalled vehicles that remain unrepaired tend to be more common in vehicles that are older. For instance, the rate of recall repairs in 2013 through 2017 vehicle models is more than 70 percent, while the figure is only 44 percent for 2003 through 2007 models. While the highest rate of recall repairs is associated with work vans, at 86 percent, the lowest rate is tied to full-size sport utility vehicles, at just 33 percent.

Auto defects that affect braking, powertrain and electrical systems appear to receive the greatest attention from vehicle owners, while recalls involving airbags have a repair rate of only 47 percent. When vehicle defects go unrepaired, people in West Virginia can end up with serious injuries or even lose their lives if these defects cause vehicle accidents. In these situations, the injured victims or the surviving loved ones of the deceased victims have the right to file liability claims against the car makers, seeking damages.

Source:, "Unrepaired auto recalls a major threat, report warns", Mark Huffman, July 26, 2016

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