Owners of Volkswagen vehicles in Oklahoma may be interested to learn that Volkswagen AG has reported extraordinarily low death and injury claim rates over the last 10 years. Despite the seemingly positive news, many industry experts are warning that Volkswagen may have underreported data to the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In 2000, the NHTSA enacted a new law requiring automakers to report the number of death and injury claims that were filed against them. The early-warning report system was set up so that the federal agency could identify manufacturing defects based on trends that were noted in consumer complaint data. If a car manufacturer is being sued for the same types of accidents over and over, the NHTSA may be able to save lives by investigating the possible defect earlier.
Industry experts are suspicious about Volkswagen’s low injury and death claim rates because competitors have already been caught manufacturing low rates. Earlier this year, Fiat Chrysler and Honda Motor both admitted to underreporting claim rates. The rate of claims reported by Volkswagen is lower than Chrysler and Honda’s admittedly underreported numbers. Volkswagen’s reported claim rates are also nine times lower than the average rates for the 11 largest car manufacturers.
A person who was injured in a car accident may want to talk to a lawyer about whether or not a car manufacturer has any liability for the accident. If a car that was involved in the crash was recalled previously, an accident victim may be able to pursue compensation from the auto maker by filing an auto product liability claim.