This Week’s Recall Report

If you haven’t heard, Samsung is halting sales of its newest flagship phone and recalling the ones already purchased because the battery can explode.  Customers that bought the Galaxy Note 7 will be able to swap it for a new Smartphone.  There are 35 confirmed reports of the devices catching fire or exploding. About 1,000,000 phones had been purchased.

And the Safety Institute is concerned about the tens of millions of recalled Takata airbags, especially the ones in older model vehicles.  Those older airbags are more in danger of exploding especially in areas that have high heat and humidity like Georgia.  The high risk older vehicles (model years 2008 and lower) are considered a top priority.

“So, even on the highest priority vehicles where the manufacturers have said we will make this product available to consumers, we’re finding there are a significant number of complaints that they aren’t available,” said Sean Kane from The Safety Institute,

Kane says in a three month period, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received 155 complaints from consumer who said they couldn’t get a new airbag from their dealer because there were no replacements available .  He says the 155 complaints were just from those who bothered to go through the process to complain so there are likely many more consumers who didn’t bother.

Kane also said that NHTSA has agreements in place with manufacturers regarding these high priority replacement airbags and if those companies are not keeping up their end of the bargain, that NHTSA should be fining them.   “This puts consumers in a very difficult predicament because they’ve been told they have a product that can kill or injure them and so we’re expected to drive a vehicle that has an identified safety hazard in it..” said Kane. “I think it’s particularly troubling by just how long this crisis has been enabled by all the manufacturers.  We need a cop on the beat and NHTSA NEEDS to be in there enforcing the agreements that have been made.”

Kane urges motorist not to continue to take no for an answer.  He says not only should people be complaining to their dealers but they should be contacting the automaker and filing a complaint with NHTSA.  He believes the more people who complain about not getting a replacement part, the more NHTSA and the manufacturers will be forced into action.

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