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Today is the last day of 2014, and as most of us know, the past year was a tough one for automakers.

According to official data, 2014 saw more recalls than any other year in recorded history, putting millions of consumers at risk of being exposed to accident risks due to equipment failure. But another detail that hasn’t been publicized enough regarding the several auto recalls of 2014 is that this year, we have seen more older car recalls than ever before, putting consumers who are often more hard to reach at risk.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has indicated that 60 million vehicles have been recalled this year, which is twice the number of autos recalled in 2004, the previous record year. By comparing the number of recalled vehicles and cars on the road today, it’s safe to say one in every five cars across the United States has been recalled in the year of 2014.

Safety Recalls Are No Laughing Matter

In 2014, we’ve seen some of the most dangerous auto recalls of all times, including General Motors’ ignition switch recall. Earlier in the year, Toyota settled a lawsuit regarding the company’s failure to handle a recall associated with vehicles that would accelerate unexpectedly. The problem unfortunately led to five deadly accidents, and the suit was finally settled in 2014 for $1.2 billion. The problem impacted over 8 million cars across the country.

When it comes to the major General Motors recall, the problem associated with the ignition switches impacted 2.59 million cars in 2014. Over 30 deadly accidents were directly associated with the problems. Most vehicles impacted had been sold in the country during the past ten years.

Because 2014 was such a hard year for car safety, making safer and less problematic vehicles should now be the number one priority of all automakers selling vehicles in the country. While many recall campaigns are associated with problems that may not lead to serious or even deadly accidents, safety recalls involving problems that could translate into crashes could expose you to serious risks. Ignoring any recall is the same as allowing your vehicle to put you in danger as you drive it, constantly. Avoiding accidents involves driving safely but also being responsible and heeding the manufacturer’s recommendations when a recall is issued.

GM has announced recently that it’s going through the process of reviewing its manufacturing steps so that problems that may result in equipment failure are identified before the vehicles are sent to dealerships. Other manufacturers that haven’t taken the necessary steps toward the same goal should start doing so.

Putting safety ahead of profits should be every automaker’s number one approach to producing cars.

For more details on some of the recalls issued during the year of 2014, follow this link.

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