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Reasons drivers should heed car recalls

In 2015, there was 51 million vehicle recalls. This number was a record high over the last 20 years and continued the steady increase of annual car recalls. The problem with having so many unrepaired recalled vehicles on the road is that they become a danger to all drivers.

According to a J.D. Power analysis of the available government data, there are still 45 million vehicles recalled from 2013 to 2015 that have not been repaired. While car models from 2013 and 2015 have a higher recall completion rate, older models, from 2003 to 2007, have a recall repair rate of only 44 percent. Recall completion rates varied depending on how big the recall was, the type of vehicle and the problem area. Car owners seem more concerned with recalls that involve the electrical, braking and powertrain systems while they focus less on issues related to defective airbags.

The threat from defective airbags is one of the biggest dangers to drivers, and unrepaired airbags have resulted in at least 10 deaths. Defective Takata airbags caused a recall of millions of vehicles in the past two years. A defective airbag, which is considered an auto product liability, might be a central factor if a person is injured or killed in an accident.

To stay up to date on important vehicle safety information, car owners should not ignore the notices sent to them via mail, which is the way car makers contact owners about recalls. If a recalled vehicle is involved in an accident, the victim might benefit from consulting with a lawyer. An attorney could explore the possibility of an auto defect being a factor in the accident.

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