Some of the most recent recalls have been notorious due to their scope and severity; one example involves Takata Corporation, a major manufacturer of airbag devices that ruptured and caused 16 deaths around the world. Under prosecution by the U.S. Department of Justice, Takata pleaded guilty to a felony charge and settled with the government in excess of one billion dollars. Another infamous recall involved faulty ignition switches in several cars manufactured by General Motors; this issue was attributed to have played a part in the deaths of 124 drivers and passengers, mostly because they were forced to pull over to troubleshoot the issue under dangerous road conditions.
Why Safety Recalls Are Ignored
The University of Michigan study consisted of surveys and interviews among 516 vehicle owners. The reasons given for not servicing their cars upon recall notices include:
* The dealer will try to sell me more repairs – 38 percent.
* My car cannot be in the shop because I need it daily and the repairs will take too long – 37 percent.
The Problem With Ignoring Recalls
The sharp increase in safety recalls can be explained by greater oversight from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but transportation researchers from the University of Michigan are clearly concerned about the low response rate from American drivers.
Ignoring issues such as the aforementioned airbag and ignition switch recalls could result in fatal accidents, which may also involve other drivers not affected by the recall or even pedestrians.
The research study also brought up an interesting trend: massive recalls may result in drivers having to wait weeks and even months before they can take their cars to the shop, and this is often due to critical fixes that dealers are not prepared to handle. When this happens, some car owners take the initiative to visit their preferred shops; once their vehicles are fixed and the repairs are paid for, they notify their state’s Attorney General office and seek reimbursement. This could be a bit of a gamble since the automaker may insist on following certain procedures, but some drivers prefer driving safe cars than taking their chances on the highway.
When it comes to recalls, some automakers are more proactive than others in the sense that they will partner with as many local shops as possible to correct the problem. The problem is when they choose to rely on dealerships that end up becoming swamped with repairs. Only a few manufacturers offer incentives such as a free tank of gas, an oil change or a couple of scheduled maintenance visits.
If you would like to learn more about vehicle recalls in the Raleigh area, contact Weatherspoon Automotive at 919-851-9519.