This year's legacy: The year of endless auto recalls

This year's legacy: The year of endless auto recalls

The year 2014 may be remembered as the year of the never-ending list of auto recalls. Much of the scrutiny has been focused on General Motors over its mishandling of recalls related to faulty ignition switches. This vehicle defect can debilitate critical safety systems including air bags.

In the shadow of GM’s recall scandal, a number of other automakers are issuing their own recalls for various defects that can cause or exacerbate car accidents. Among the most recently announced is a recall by Subaru of America. The company will be recalling approximately 5,000 vehicles with model years between 2003 and 2005 for problems with passenger-side air bags.

Specifically, air bag inflators made by Takata Corp can potentially rupture in regions with high humidity. If and when they do, they could break into metal fragments and cause injuries to passengers.

The recall is part of a larger request made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in June. The agency asked companies using Takata air bag inflators to recall vehicles that are currently or have previously been registered in high-humidity regions.

While this Subaru recall is among the latest, it is comparatively so small as to be almost unnoticeable. General Motors alone has issued 60 recalls this year, totaling about 26.41 million vehicles, according to USA Today.

2014 will be remembered for its unprecedented number of auto recalls. But we must hope that it will also be remembered as the year that Americans and government regulators decided that enough was enough and demanded more accountability from the auto industry.

Source: Reuters, " Subaru recalls about 5,000 cars with Takata air bag inflators," Bernie Woodall, Aug. 5, 2014

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