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Why are Floridians, others still buying General Motors cars?

Recalls of millions of General Motors vehicles have been all over the news recently. Lawsuits by drivers against the auto giant could reach upwards of $10 billion. Further, GM could be facing financial penalties and criminal charges from the U.S. Department of Justice. How is all of this affecting GM's sales? The answer may surprise you.

Sales data for April of this year and preliminary numbers for May show that consumers are still buying GM vehicles. Why haven't the recalls and constant negative publicity caused GM's sales to plummet? Experts suggest several reasons.

Some GM models have gotten excellent reviews recently by such influential sources as Consumer Reports, which had high praise for the Chevrolet Impala. Chevy's Corvette and Silverado won the titles of North American Car and Truck of the Year earlier this year.

Another factor is the sheer number of recalls. One recall specialist noted "consumer fatigue" of the number of recalls, not just of vehicles, but "across all industries."

It's obvious that there are more vehicle recalls than ever. Stricter government safety guidelines and heightened scrutiny play a part. So do technological advancements. As one expert noted, "Every new car has more gadgets and more functionality, and each layer added adds another level of complexity."

General Motor's recalls have already hit well over 13 million this year. Officials with GM say that recalls could continue at their current pace into the summer. The auto industry as a whole could surpass the current record of 30 million recalls in a single year by the end of June.

Obviously, most of us here in Miami and throughout the country rely on our vehicles. While most of us can't stop driving, consumers can take safety precautions. Thoroughly research a vehicle before you buy it. Have it repaired immediately if a recall is announced. If you notice a problem with your car, have it checked out immediately.

If you are involved in an accident that you believe was the result of a defective product, notify the dealer and the manufacturer. If they do not respond acceptably, you may wish to explore taking legal action against the manufacturer. The significant number of lawsuits against major automakers like GM and Toyota has no doubt spurred them to recall vehicles at the first sign of trouble rather than waiting until someone is harmed or killed. Legal action by consumers against automakers can save lives.

Source: NBC News, "Recalls May Hurt GM's Reputation, But Drivers Still Buy The Cars" Paul A. Eisenstein, May. 23, 2014

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