According to NHTSA, the United States government’s highway safety agency, around 31 million vehicles were recalled for safety-related problems in the U.S. last year – more than twice as many recalled vehicles than in 2010. Another troubling statistic is NHTSA’s research data shows only about 70% of recalled vehicles get the necessary repairs. This presents an ever-looming safety concern for not only vehicles on the road, but the public at large.
NHTSA’s data shows a growing share of the recalls involve glitches in the software controlling the ever-expanding array of onboard computer systems. Now, some of these recalls can be repaired electronically and/or remotely and this seems to be the growing trend for the future. Tesla has been leading the way with the smartphone-style OTA (“Over-the-Air”) technology, and many other manufacturers are following suit. For example, Ford, GM, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen are all making moves to start rapidly implementing this new OTA technology allowing recalls to be repaired and vehicle software to update remotely.
While OTA technology may help lessen the number of recalled vehicles on the road that have not been repaired, it will not eliminate hands-on repairs of recalled vehicles. Many recall still involve faulty mechanical systems, such as bad brakes, leaky fuel lines, or misfiring airbags. While remotely repairing recalls is one of the primary benefits of implementing OTA technology into vehicles, we are still a long way away from eliminating safety concerns with vehicles on our roads.
If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of an accident involving a recalled vehicle, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-222-7211 or toll-free at 1‑800-870-9584.