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We handle cases across the United States. Allen Stewart is licensed to practice law in Texas, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and Arizona.

Texas Recalled Vehicle Rate Leads U.S.

Takata Recall Likely to Affect Statistics

Texas leads the nation in rate of unrepaired recall cars, according to Car and Driver magazine.

The magazine reported more than 63 million vehicles currently under recall still travel United States roadways as of 2017: a 34% jump from last year. Car and Driver did not speculate about the cause of the jump, aside from postulating it was either caused by more recalls issued since last year or consumers simply don’t get their cars fixed as often.

Car and Driver writer David Muller, using data from Carfax, determined minivans and SUVs are the vehicles most likely unrepaired. Muller said busy family lives may cause consumers to put off recall repairs indefinitely.

Muller wrote California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and New York lead the United States in recalled vehicles not repaired. Four of those five states have the highest volume of registered vehicles with Pennsylvania as the sole outlier.

However, the five states with the highest rate of recalled, unrepaired vehicles still on the road are Texas, Hawaii, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. Texas leads the pack with one in three vehicles registered in Texas operating with an open recall.

Muller said that data may be related to the Takata recall targeting warm, humid climates. The desiccated phased-stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant at the center of the Takata airbag recall decays faster in hot, humid climates like those of Hawaii and the Gulf Coast states.

The Takata airbags contain inflators affected by the bad propellant. If the inflators rupture they can send metal shards into the passenger cabin, potentially killing or injuring occupants. A NPR report said 17 deaths, including 11 Americans, are linked to this defect. Takata-related incidents have also caused 180 injuries worldwide so far.

Takata filed for bankruptcy on June 26, 2017, while still facing billions of dollars in lawsuits over the defective inflators. Key Safety Systems, a U.S.-based auto component company, bought Takata’s non-airbag related assets for $1.6 billion shortly after Takata filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Carfax spokesman Christopher Basso suggested many car owners are simply unaware that their vehicles are subject to a recall or that consumers may be experiencing recall fatigue.

“Unfortunately, with so many recalls happening, it becomes a bit of white noise,” Basso said.

Previously proposed laws aimed at requiring car owners to have their recalled vehicles repaired. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced legislation in 2015 that would prevent car owners from renewing their state registration if they did not repair an active recall.

The bill, the Repairing Every Car to Avoid Lost Lives Act, was introduced in the U.S. Senate but has yet to advance further.

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