Auto recalls in the United States reached an all-time high in 2015 for the second year in a row as auto manufactures and safety regulators cracked down more harshly on flaws in design and manufacturing. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 51.2 million vehicles were recalled in 2015 in over 868 different recalls, narrowly beating out 2014’s numbers of 51 million vehicles through 779 recalls. This boost in recalls is estimated to be in relation to a greater vigilance in looking for defects spurred by industry mishaps such as the Volkswagen emissions scandal and Takata’s exploding airbags. To put things in perspective, no more than 20.3 million vehicles were recalled in a single year between 2005 and 2013.
The NHTSA announced in January 2016 a new agreement with 18 different auto manufacturers to improve the level of cooperation on safety principles and boost recall completion rates. The agency also expressed concerns at the possibility of a significant increase in roadway deaths, as early data has indicated the number of fatal auto accidents rose over 2014’s all-time low of 32,675 fatalities.
The NHTSA’s efforts to achieve its ultimate goal of zero roadway deaths have prompted the group to push for automakers to accelerate advancements towards the production of self-driving cars. The group announced that President Obama is set to propose Congress with a 10-year investment in self-driving technologies worth approximately $4 billion.
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