So far, 2015 is off to a pretty good start in terms of recalls, at least compared to last year.
Last year was a spectacularly bad year in recalls. In an article on the innovation and optimism at the Detroit Auto Show this week, AP’s Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher wrote, “Even record recalls that involved 60 million cars and trucks in the U.S. last year seem to have faded in consumers' minds. General Motors, which accounted for half the total, saw U.S. sales climb 5 percent in 2014.”
Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, hired by GM to compensate victims of the infamous defective ignition switch recall, is accepting claims until January 31. Feinberg has received 303 death claims and 2,407 injury claims as of Monday. Currently, 45 people have died and 68 have been injured due to the defective ignition switch.
When questioned about last year’s 60 million recalls, Mark Rosekind, the U.S. government’s new auto safety chief, says he does not think the recalls were unnecessary. Rosekind says, “We'd rather have people on the proactive end catching stuff really early than waiting too long. I think we should expect to see more recalls coming. I'd rather have quick action than waiting and finding out you made a mistake, because you cannot save those lives after they are gone. We'll watch to make sure we don't go too far, and we want to strike a balance.”
The validity for the rise in recalls is also supported by consumer complaints. Rosekind says the National Transportation and Safety Board received 75,000 safety complaints in 2014, up from 45,000 in 2013.