Automobile manufacturers put a lot of attention—and a lot of money—into building and protecting their brands. Unfortunately, it sometimes appears that they are far less devoted to the safety of their customers.
Safety must always come first
Many manufacturers are producing day in and day out to meet the needs of consumers, but keeping up with production demand is never an excuse for defective products or a lack of attention to safety. A significant difference within the auto industry, is that a product malfunction can cause catastrophic injury or death. Every time you get behind the wheel of a car, you’re putting trust in that product to get you from point A to point B, and to keep you and your passengers safe.
This past week, approximately 53,000 new models of Subaru vehicles have been immediately recalled. The manufacturer warned drivers not to even risk driving to a mechanic to resolve the issue. All 2016-2017 Legacy or Outback vehicles manufactured between February 29th and May 6th were reported to potentially have a column defect so serious, that the steering could fail at any moment during use.
The Subaru brand has gone so far as to create the consumer impression of a company that puts safety first. Subaru has spent millions on advertising campaigns with safety themes and they even tagline use the tagline,“Confidence in Motion.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was made aware of a possible defect after an Outback owner reported “an issue” with the steering. So how does a defect this severe happen, and why isn’t it discovered unless reported by a consumer?
Subaru’s recall announcement may appear to be prompt action taken to protect consumers. Certainly that is what the company would prefer. However, there have been many examples in the past of companies who have hidden or lied about known defects discovered within their products—companies that made no effort to warn the public until it was absolutely necessary; either to save the brand, or avoid criminal prosecution.
The right action is the one that keeps us out of danger in the first place.
We can’t forget that an automobile recall is a measure taken after the fact. Right now, it seems as thought nobody has been injured due to the Subaru steering defect. But how would anyone know? After a terrible car crash due to a steering defect, there may not be anyone from the accident alive to say what failed. There may be so much damage to the vehicle, that not enough of the steering system remains intact to examine. For other drivers who survive, the steering failure could occur so suddenly and be followed by an impact so rapidly, that to them it is unclear exactly what happened. Many people may have already been affected by the Subaru steering defect and don’t even realize it.
A normal first instinct might be to assume that the steering failure was unique to the specific vehicle you are driving, rather than a defect common to a make and model. Or if a driver is lucky and miraculously is not injured in an accident due to an auto defect, perhaps no action is taken other than calling an auto insurance carrier to file a claim.
Sadly and all too often, companies don’t tell the public the truth. The truth can only be obtained by filing lawsuits and holding them accountable for the defects in their cars. Thank goodness not all auto defects share the same risks or result in tragic outcomes, but an auto recall is always in the best interest of the vehicle owners. For those who own an automobile, the difference can be life or death.
Choose a law firm with deep experience in auto defect cases
Major automobile recalls were not issued when they should have been, nor were defects reported before someone was severely injured. If you know of anyone who may have been severely injured as a result of an automobile defect, it is critical to work with a law firm that is experienced in the complexities of auto defects and product liability law. Contact the attorneys at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, who fight to make sure that victims injured by an automobile defect receive the care and support they need for life.