There are important differences between the three. During the late '80s, the auto giant installed ignition switches in its vehicles that were prone to short circuit, leading to overheating, smoking and occasionally full-blown fires within the steering column. In others the gas pedal would simply stick.
A nine-month investigation of more than consumer complaints regarding the belts by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that the button on the latch of the belt was prone to crack and jam the locking mechanism, literally trapping the driver and passengers in their seats.
In the largest auto industry recall to date, Ford was forced to front the repair bill for more than 20 million vehicles after a safety defect in their transmission system caused more than 6, accidents, 1, injuries and 98 deaths.
They suggest that vehicle owners check twice per year to see if any recalls have been issued that affect them. It is voluntary on the part of the manufacturer, who generally issues the recall in order to limit his liability and prevent the NHSTA from taking the serious step of issuing a legally mandated recall.
If the vehicle is out of warranty, the customer is responsible for the repairs. You can also use the search functions at SaferCar.
Sometimes the switches even ignited when the car was parked and turned off. Luckily, Ford managed to recall the flaming igniters before any injuries were reported.
After more than 60 cases of runaway vehicles were reported, 30 of which resulted in at least one death, Toyota went into crisis mode and issued two separate recalls in and to "reconfigure" the accelerator setup. When considering buying a used vehicle, this search will also show whether or not the defect has been repaired in the past 15 years.
This is regarded as a mandatory recall and is generally quite serious. Recalls do not expire, whether they are mandatory or voluntary.