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Record number of vehicles recalled in 2015

Oklahoma motorists might find it interesting that there were more auto recalls in 2015 than other year in history, just beating the previous record set in 2014. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 51 million vehicles recalled last year. It was initially believed there were almost 64 million recalls in 2014, but that number inadvertently double counted some of the airbag recalls made by Takata Corp., so the total was adjusted downward.

The NHTSA reports that there were nearly 900 different recalls in 2015, compared with 803 in 2014. Automakers were harshly fined in the past for failing to quickly recall vehicles with known defects, and the uptick in recalls indicates they are now moving faster to fix problems. Takata recalled 19 million vehicles manufactured by 12 different automakers after it was discovered that the company's air bag inflators can suddenly explode and shoot shrapnel at the occupants of a vehicle. More than 100 people have so far been injured by the faulty inflators worldwide, and eight people have been killed. According to the government, more Takata recalls could happen in the future.

According to the NHTSA, car owners must also do their part to ensure all recalled vehicles are repaired. Statistics show that 75 percent of recalled cars are fixed within 18 months, but the remainder go unrepaired. The agency encourages drivers to enter their car's vehicle identification number on the NHTSA website to find out if there are any outstanding recalls that need to be made.

Defective vehicles endanger everyone on the road. Oklahoma residents who have been injured by a defective car, truck or auto part may have grounds to file an auto product liability lawsuit against the negligent manufacturer. An attorney could explain all legal options available.

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