Car companies should act quickly when they identify a defect, including alerting consumers and taking swift action to make repairs. They should also respond appropriately to consumer complaints and honor all warranties to help car-buyers protect their investment. Unfortunately, many car makers don't do what is right. Consumers who experience car defects may need help from a San Diego lemon law attorney to get problems resolved with their vehicles.
A failure to swiftly recall vehicles or to make appropriate fixes to vehicle defects is not the only thing that some car manufacturers do wrong. Car makers have been caught in all sorts of unscrupulous behavior over the years, and CheatSheet recently published a list of some of the most famous automotive scandals that have occurred.
The Most Famous Automotive Scandals in History
According to CheatSheet, some of the most famous scandals in history involving automakers include the following:
- GM's false advertising on the Chrysler Airflow: The Chrysler Airflow was a vehicle that had a novel design with a uni-body construction, all-steel construction and advanced safety features. GM was apparently upset that Chrysler came out with a more advanced car, and they purchased ads in newspapers claiming the car was plagiarized from a GM design and was a safety hazard. GM was successful at tarnishing its reputation, and the Airflow was discontinued in 1937.
- The Tucker fraud case: The Tucker was a novel vehicle with advanced safety features that was released in 1948. Only 51 cars were built, though, before the factory had to close as a result of fraudulent business practices.
- Takata airbag issues: Takata Airbags were installed in as many as 30 million cars sold worldwide. Unfortunately, the airbags were susceptible to moisture damage and could end up deploying with so much force that chemicals and metal shrapnel fly throughout the car, sometimes proving fatal. Takata may have known about the problem with its dangerous airbags as far back as 2004, but the company didn't report the problem and continued building faulty airbags until 2008. Takata was fined $14,000 per day for not cooperating with the eventual investigation conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
There have also been many other scandals in which car manufacturers knew of issues and did nothing or actively tried to cover up the problem. For example, CheatSheet reports Toyota tried to blame dangerous unintended acceleration problems on floor mats causing the cars to suddenly accelerate even though the company had internal documents showing the actual issue was a problem pedal.
Scandals continue to occur as car makers release defective cars and don't promptly fix them. Any driver who buys a car needs to know when and how the laws protect her. A lemon law attorney can provide insight into options for new car buyers whose vehicles have issues. Contact The Bickel Law Firm, Inc. for help as soon as possible when problems arise with a car to find out more about your options.