Why Big Auto Recalls Will Keep Happening
Analyst: For one thing, cars keep getting more complicated
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2014 1:25 PM CDT
In this 2008 photo, the Chevy Cobalt moves on the assembly line in Lordstown, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

(Newser) – Seems like there's a giant new auto recall every week, and Derek Mead at Motherboard advises that we all better get used to it. He runs through a slew of factors on why recalls are becoming the new normal in the auto industry, including:

  • Complex cars: Autos keep getting more complicated, thanks in part to safety requirements, fuel efficiency rules, and drivers' "endless appetite" for new gizmos. All these new features add up to more things that can go wrong.

  • Parts sharing: Automakers usually share parts across various models for obvious reasons. Why make dozens of windshield wiper motors when one will do? But when that "one" fails, the effects are widespread.
  • Supply chain: It's long and it's convoluted, and problems often crop up in subcontractors' subcontractors.
Mix in more aggressive regulation, and there you have it. "Automakers are making better cars, but because those cars have more parts than ever—parts that are increasingly being pulled from the same bins—when one thing goes wrong, it affects a lot of people's rides," sums up Mead. "And that's not likely to change anytime soon." Click for the full column.

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Apr 13, 2014 4:56 AM CDT
They do not make cars like they used to. I once had a 1956 Buick, you could not kill that car. If you had an accident all you got was a small dent.
Apr 11, 2014 7:14 PM CDT
Real reason: They don't care. They're only concerned with their Fiscal Quarterly Financial Report of immediate sales that'll impress investors. They don't look for trouble down the road...
Apr 11, 2014 3:17 PM CDT
Having worked as a paralegal I have studied traffic accidents and accident reconstructions, if there is one thing that I have found in over 30 years is that in most cases the vehicle defect was not the sole causative action but rather one of the contributing factors to an accident. The main contributing factor to the majority of accidents that I investigated was driver error when the other contributing factors came in to play.