The area that I chose to focus on for consumer health and this weeks topic of protection and regulations is within the automobile industry. I personally have dealt with this issue with Ford. I have a 2012 Ford Focus and I bought it in 2015. When I test drove the car, there was no issue during the that point in time. Then six months down the road, the car started to stutter when I would drive.
To elaborate, the newer models of Ford Focuses and Fiestas are made with a transmission that is automatic but acts as a manual (if that makes sense). It would shutter because the transmission would not move into gears quick enough – for example, as I would accelerate, the gears would not change quick enough to allow for a smooth transition. This was one of the first recalls that I had received for the car was for a faulty transmission.
To date, I have received five different recalls for my car since I purchased it in early February 2015. I have received two recalls for the transmission, one for the emergency breaks, one for the door latch, and one for one of the many computers that control the basic functions of my car. The recall for the computer was a pretty significant one because it was the computer that controlled the transmission and it had died. My transmission had over heated which caused my car to break down on the freeway in the evening and I was by myself trying to make it home.
As a consumer, I would have liked to know if there were any issues that I would face or if these issues were to happen, the issues would be fixed beforehand. Granted, all of the issues were fixed and covered by Ford – however, these issues could have caused larger issues. For example, what if I had caused an accident or anything along those lines? I think that as a consumer for an automobile, I should be told all of the information for the vehicle before hand because then I could have purchased another vehicle. The law that would have been beneficial to know is the United States Code for Motor Vehicle Safety (Title 49, Chapter 301) defines motor vehicle safety as “the performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in a way that protects the public against unreasonable risk of accidents occurring because of the design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle, and against unreasonable risk of death or injury in an accident, and includes nonoperational safety of a motor vehicle.” I feel that this law would have showed me that my life would have been protected since the car had so many “unknown” problems at the time.