General Motors: Reasons Why the Recalls Are so Frequent

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Car recalls by General Motors have been very frequent in the past few years and there are good reasons for this new trend. A few months ago, GM had to recall 2.6 million vehicles because they had ignition-related problems. There are claims that these problems were the cause of 13 deaths throughout the country. Consequently, the company was fined by the Department of Transportation for failing to respond to requests for information about the faulty ignition switches. These incidences have made this year one of the most difficult years for the company. GM has recalled more vehicles now than in the past, and this trend may not be over. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released new data that shows that U.S. auto companies had already recalled about 10 million vehicles this year alone.

Generally in the manufacturing industry, defective products are viewed as hazardous to consumers. That is why recalls of these products are important in order to reduce the economic burden of deaths and injuries caused by defective products. Unfortunately, some organizations do not recognize that the overall cost of recalling defective products is much lower than the cost of dealing with disasters caused by them. There are a number of reasons why General Motors has recalled many cars in the past few years. To begin with, a report by the Society of Automotive Analysts links these increasing recalls to vehicle technology. The study claims that most of the recalls do not have anything to do with engines but are electrical related. According to the organization, this proves that the vehicles are recalled because of faults found in the new technologies used within them. Thus, as the technology in cars gets more complicated or advanced many things could go wrong in the production process.

Some automotive industry experts believe that one of the reasons why these companies recall vehicles is because different car makers share the same vehicle parts. Designing and testing various car parts is very expensive and laborious for many car manufacturers. Thus, these car makers usually agree to share some parts to cuts costs and spread risk. So, when a single car part is defective, it affects all the companies using this car part and all these companies have to recall their vehicles. These experts believe that this is why car makers like Toyota and GM always seem to make car recalls at almost the same time. Sometimes these parts are bought from sub-contractors who make faulty car parts.

In addition, regulators in the car industry have introduced new laws that have made many car makers extra-cautious about their products. As a result, GM has been voluntarily recalling vehicles for minor issues that car owners could have easily fixed. These minor issues hardly pose any immediate safety risk and include such things as faulty windscreen wipers. General Motors has become jittery about car defects because of laws like the Tread Act. This law requires automakers to provide the authorities with quarterly safety reports, as well as immediately reporting problems as soon as they arrive.

However, despite the increasing frequency in car recalls,the quality of vehicles produced by General Motors and other car manufactures have been improving. The automakers have been making better cars, but those cars have more parts than ever. These parts are run by complicated technologies that integrate them with smart devices like tablets and smartphones. Thus, as General Motors vehicle technology continues to change, the number of recalls is only going to increase.

By Michael Obunga

USA Today
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