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Record Recalls Are Hurting the Auto Industry, But Not a Problem for New Car Buyers

Dave Rezendes/Flickr

To say it’s been a rough year for automakers in the U.S. would be putting it mildly. Last year, 22 million cars were recalled, a number that has already been shattered by 2 million just five months into 2014.

General Motors has led the way with 13 million cars recalled, most due to a faulty ignition switch which has killed anywhere from 13 to 74 people. But they are hardly alone: Ford, Chrysler, and other companies have recalled millions of vehicles.

The recalls could be a painful blow to an industry that is still trying to work its way back from the recession. But Los Angeles Times business writer Jerry Hirsch explained why buyers shouldn’t worry about buying a new car.

“Interestingly, cars that you would go out and buy this summer would be the safest car ever. A lot of the cars being recalled, the GM cars involved in the ignition switch issue, they don't even make those cars anymore. The models don’t exist. Some of the brands, like Saturn, no longer even exist. They’re not comparable really to what you would buy at a dealership today.”

For car owners affected by the recalls, Hirsch had this advice.

“First I would check online. GM has a website for the ignition switch issue. And then all the automakers, as I said, generally have recall information up, and the government offers recall information. And of course the simplest thing is to take your car to a dealer and ask if its been recalled, or ask if they know if recall announcements haven’t made it into the system yet, and hopefully they’ll take care of it. But you have to be proactive about it.”

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