The Safety Institute, an non-profit organisation that looks to emphasise safety on the roads, has released its latest Quarterly Vehicle Safety Watch List, ranking the top 15 potential car defects out there at the moment and the cars that are most likely to experience them. This can be a good list to look over once in a while to see if there’s a particular part in your car that’s worth having checked out by your local garage.
Top of the list this quarter, just as it was last quarter, is the Ford Focus. The 2012 version in particular has been causing quite a few people issues, with faulty steering. Also worth noting on the list are the 2011 and 2012 versions of the Chevy Cruze, which have potential defects in their service brakes. That issue in particular is worth having investigated, as being able to stop on time is perhaps the most important safety aspect of any car.
Other faults in the top 10 include the 2006 Toyota Sienna, which has structural failures in some models. The 2008 version of that same car has troubles with its power train and the Toyota Camry also has some problems with its speed control.
What’s surprising about much of this list however, isn’t that there are faults – that’s going to happen from time to time with products as complicated as cars – but that many manufacturers do little to rectify the issue. Even those that do though, don’t always act. Ford recalled and investigated purported problems with the 2012 Focus’ electricals, but it hasn’t done anything about the steering issue which has been apparent for some time.
Toyota on the other hand was much more interested in cleaning up its mistakes, with every instance of one of its cars on the Safety Instititute’s list, leading to an investigation and/or recall of some of the vehicles in question. Chrevolet was similarly quite good about it all.
It is important these companies to fix their issues though, as The Safety Institute draws much of its information from public records and complaints directly from the consumer. The Chevy Cruze for example, has lodged up many injury claims from the brakes not working correctly. What’s worrying too is that some of the vehicles being reported as problematic had been returned to consumers after a recall. This sugests that even when companies do look into dangerous or flawed vehicles, that they may not even correct the issue properly.
“The Safety Institute’s Vehicle Safety Watch List provides an opportunity for regulators and manufacturers to examine unusual patterns of claims and resolve them before they become major crises” said Sean Kane, founder and president of the board of directors of The Safety Institute.
His sentiments were echoed in a statement by lawyer Lance Cooper, who is currently working on behalf of the family of a woman who died due to a vehicle defect. He said that he hoped future tragedies could be avoided thanks to the vehicle watch list.