Decline in Investigations into Auto Safety Incidents

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Decline in Investigations into Auto Safety Incidents

New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers discuss a decline in investigations into auto safety incidents. Not long ago we witnessed the largest auto-safety recall in history, with the dangerous Takata airbags having been recalled from many different brands and models of vehicles. An increase in the use of parts created by a single manufacturer across vehicle brands has resulted in a number of large-scale recalls.

Yet last year, the federal agency charged with investigating auto safety issues slowed down its investigation of claims. While it is not uncommon to see a decline in enforcement and investigations during conservative administrations, this data falls far short of anything else in recent history.

A review of annual National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigations spanning back to 1972 shows a sharp decline beginning in 2016. In 1989, the agency launched 204 investigations. The annual average in the years between 2006 and 2015 was 61 investigations per year.

Last year, the federal government safety watchdog launched only 13 investigations into alleged auto part defects. Not only has the NHTSA rolled back its investigations, but it also appears to be issuing fewer penalties against automakers. Not a single civil penalty has been issued against a vehicle manufacturer since December 2015.

Causes of Change

According a law Professor at Texas Tech University who studies the regulation of the automobile industry, it is common for there to be a decline in both investigations and enforcement during conservative administrations. Conservative administrations tend to favor a more business-friendly approach, and a lowering of taxes—which means fewer resources for government watchdog agencies like the NHTSA.

This decline in investigations comes at a time when public awareness of the dangers of auto-defects is heightened. The Takata airbag scandal was certainly on the radar of national news agencies, but it was not the only one. General Motors had a massive safety issue with a defective ignition switch. There have also been issues with unconventional gearshifts causing pedestrian back-over accidents.

According to the President of a national watchdog group, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, people expect the government to protect them from defective automobiles. Without the NHTSA to hold automakers accountable for dangerous parts, even if consumers report safety problems, there is little recourse.

NHTSA Past and Present

The NHTSA is responsible for the mandatory installation of seat belts, air bags, and safer auto body structures to protect us all in the event of a collision or other car accidents. NHTSA investigations into reported auto defects have resulted in the recall of tens of millions of cars a year. Most of these defects can be fixed at no cost to consumers. The repairs can be made at local auto dealers by qualified mechanics who are paid for their time by the manufacturer.

Many have also raised concerns about the NHTSA’s handling of self-driving technology. To date, the agency has taken a largely hands-off approach, which some say prioritizes industry profit over consumer safety.

New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP Hold Manufacturers Accountable for Auto Defects

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, a defective auto part could be to blame. The experienced New Jersey product liability lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP know how to get to the bottom of what caused your accident, helping to get you answers. We routinely hold manufacturers and dealers liable for auto defects and obtain successful results for our clients. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 732-384-1331 or contact us online today. With offices located in Red Bank, Edison and Toms River, we represent clients throughout the state of New Jersey.

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Testimonials

I also WON lifelong FRIENDS!

"The list is LONG of the wonderful things that I can say about Barry, Maria (his assistant) & the rest of the folks that I had the HONOR of spending time with during my case. I brought my case to another lawyer that told me that I have no case, yet Barry was not only able to WIN, but he WON a substantial amount! Lawyers have awful reputations, but Barry defies every single one of them! Barry Eichen genuinely CARES about his clients!! NOTHING was too much to ask for – there was no such thing as too many phone calls! Without a doubt, I was in the BEST HANDS with Barry as my attorney! I not only WON my lawsuit, but I also WON lifelong FRIENDS!"

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-22T00:29:45+00:00

~ Client

"The list is LONG of the wonderful things that I can say about Barry, Maria (his assistant) & the rest of the folks that I had the HONOR of spending time with during my case. I brought my case to another lawyer that told me that I have no case, yet Barry was not only able to WIN, but he WON a substantial amount! Lawyers have awful reputations, but Barry defies every single one of them! Barry Eichen genuinely CARES about his clients!! NOTHING was too much to ask for – there was no such thing as too many phone calls! Without a doubt, I was in the BEST HANDS with Barry as my attorney! I not only WON my lawsuit, but I also WON lifelong FRIENDS!"

I have to say he is a great person.

"I had a bad accident back in June of 2015. My dad knows Barry. I have to say he is a great person. I was unsatisfied with some things that were happening with a previous lawyer and he made sure everything was fixed and I was satisfied. My lawyer Edward McElroy is great he answers emails in a timely matter even on weekends. I know they probably used to get annoyed with me calling all the time Lol. But I was just curious to what is going on with my case. Nicole, Ed’s secretary is great. She always responds back to my emails in a timely matter as well and even checks up on things with me from time to time. Barry recently became my mother and cousins Lawyer do to a bad accident they were involved in as well. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks guys 🙂"

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:42:12+00:00

~ Client

"I had a bad accident back in June of 2015. My dad knows Barry. I have to say he is a great person. I was unsatisfied with some things that were happening with a previous lawyer and he made sure everything was fixed and I was satisfied. My lawyer Edward McElroy is great he answers emails in a timely matter even on weekends. I know they probably used to get annoyed with me calling all the time Lol. But I was just curious to what is going on with my case. Nicole, Ed’s secretary is great. She always responds back to my emails in a timely matter as well and even checks up on things with me from time to time. Barry recently became my mother and cousins Lawyer do to a bad accident they were involved in as well. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks guys 🙂"

Mr. Zaslow is truly the best.

"The loss of my husband due to malpractice was and is devastating, Daryl took on our case and said, “Unfortunately I can’t bring your husband back but I can make sure that you will be ok financially,” and that is what he did , with compassion and dedication and always made feel like he had time for me, I never felt rushed or unimportant, I cannot say enough about how professional yet caring this office has treated me . Mr. Zaslow is truly the best at what he does and I can’t say enough about his secretary who not only kept me informed but listened to me during the most painful time of my life , all I can say is what a great team . Thank you Daryl for helping me . Thank you Heather for listening."

~ C.C.

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:44:24+00:00

~ C.C.

"The loss of my husband due to malpractice was and is devastating, Daryl took on our case and said, “Unfortunately I can’t bring your husband back but I can make sure that you will be ok financially,” and that is what he did , with compassion and dedication and always made feel like he had time for me, I never felt rushed or unimportant, I cannot say enough about how professional yet caring this office has treated me . Mr. Zaslow is truly the best at what he does and I can’t say enough about his secretary who not only kept me informed but listened to me during the most painful time of my life , all I can say is what a great team . Thank you Daryl for helping me . Thank you Heather for listening."

Daryl Zaslow went to bat for him

"When, at age 44 my son suffered a massive Ischemic stroke, my greatest concern was how he would be able to live a normal life without the use of his speech and his arm. Daryl Zaslow went to bat for him and through his tireless efforts, his medical knowledge and his sincere concern for my son, Mr. Zaslow secured for my son a future not only without financial worries, but with hope and happiness. There are no words to express the thanks of our family to a great lawyer."

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:48:36+00:00

~ Client

"When, at age 44 my son suffered a massive Ischemic stroke, my greatest concern was how he would be able to live a normal life without the use of his speech and his arm. Daryl Zaslow went to bat for him and through his tireless efforts, his medical knowledge and his sincere concern for my son, Mr. Zaslow secured for my son a future not only without financial worries, but with hope and happiness. There are no words to express the thanks of our family to a great lawyer."

Very very pleased with the service and professionalism.

"Very very pleased with the service and professionalism of this law firm. I really felt that my case was very important to them and went to every length to achieve the best outcome possible. Or attorney really went to bat for me and his staff was very professional and courteous. Highly recommended. Thank you again for a great outcome !!"

~ M.M.

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:51:39+00:00

~ M.M.

"Very very pleased with the service and professionalism of this law firm. I really felt that my case was very important to them and went to every length to achieve the best outcome possible. Or attorney really went to bat for me and his staff was very professional and courteous. Highly recommended. Thank you again for a great outcome !!"

This is a 5 star firm.

"Great firm took me right in and sat with me and understood my case, unlike other attorneys I had seen. This is a 5 star firm."

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T18:04:32+00:00

~ Client

"Great firm took me right in and sat with me and understood my case, unlike other attorneys I had seen. This is a 5 star firm."

I would highly recommend his firm.

"Mr. Eichen handled a motorcycle accident for me in 2002, as well as various other cases since that time. I have permanent injuries from that accident and he was able to resolve my case for the full policy limits and get me compensation as quickly as possible. I would highly recommend his firm."

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T18:07:23+00:00

~ Client

"Mr. Eichen handled a motorcycle accident for me in 2002, as well as various other cases since that time. I have permanent injuries from that accident and he was able to resolve my case for the full policy limits and get me compensation as quickly as possible. I would highly recommend his firm."
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