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Study: Manufacturers, Not Consumers, to Blame for Lack of Fixed Recalls

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Sept. 6, 2016—A recent study shows that many manufacturers have failed to deliver sufficient replacement airbags to vehicles that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)  deemed at high risk of rupture, despite a March 31 deadline to do so.

A study of vehicle owner questionnaires from April through July shows that the NHTSA has received 155 complaints from consumers with vehicles registered in hot and humid states, which are at the highest risk of rupturing.

The analysis, conducted by Quality Control Systems Corp. for The Safety Institute, and sponsored by the Newsome Melton Law Firm, shows three manufacturers are standouts: Chrysler, Ford and Toyota have garnered 80 percent of the complaints.

“This crisis was enabled by a number of different actors, the vehicle manufacturers, the suppliers and NHTSA and now it’s incumbent upon all three to step up to replace the bags as soon as possible rather than blaming consumers for not doing their part,” says Sean Kane, president and founder of The Safety Institute.

In May of 2015, NHTSA announced that it would coordinate a four-year plan to replace nearly 69 million defective Takata airbags by 2019.

Older vehicles exposed to high levels of humidity were deemed highest priority for recalls.

“The findings in this analysis are disturbing,” said Richard Newsome of Newsome Melton law firm and editor of www.ConsumerWatch.com. “For months now, all we have been hearing is how it’s the consumer’s responsibility to not drive cars that have been recalled, yet here we see evidence that car owners couldn’t get their recalled vehicles fixed even if they wanted to because the manufacturers don’t have the parts to fix them – and these were the vehicles that NHTSA deemed to be highest risk.”

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