By on April 29, 2015

Mark Rosekind Circa December 2014

Despite the numerous recalls over the past year, recall completion rates are not at 100 percent. The NHTSA and automakers hope to change this.

The agency met with representatives of General Motors, Honda and other automakers Tuesday to discuss ways to encourage affected consumers to take action when a recall is issued, Bloomberg reports.

In the case of GM, the automaker studied those who didn’t take action, then did everything it could to make them aware of a recall issue with the aim of bringing those consumers into the repair shop. However, even with 98 percent of GM owners made aware of recalls as a result of the campaign, inaction still occurred. Of those who did finally act, customer relationship management director Julie Heisel noted it took multiple mailings, phone calls, and assurances of loaner vehicles before those consumers brought their affected vehicles in for repair.

As it stands, the average completion rate for recall repairs comes to 75 percent, though the older the vehicle is, the less likely it will be repaired, according to The Detroit News: 15 percent for vehicles older than 10 years versus 83 percent for newer models.

In 2014, automakers recalled 63.9 vehicles in a record total of 803 recalls, including the February 2014 ignition switch recall issued by GM, and the ongoing Takata airbag recall affecting Honda and nine other automakers.

[Photo credit: Senator Claire McCaskill/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0]

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5 Comments on “Automakers, NHTSA Meet To Discuss Increasing Recall Completion Rates...”

  • avatar

    A few hard stops could be implemented:
    1) cannot register car without completed repairs;
    2) cannot insure car without same;
    3) cannot sell car without same.

    My take: nothing is going to happen, and consumers will be blamed.

    • 0 avatar

      I think it ought to be up to the vehicle owner whether or not to have recall work done. Maybe you should be required to show records of which have and which have not been done, when selling or transferring title. That would protect the next person.

      For example, if I owned one of the “horrible faulty GM ignition switch” cars, I would be putting dealing with that recall as a low priority given my busy life. I do not plan to get s*#t faced and drive my car at high rates of speed without a seat belt.

    • 0 avatar

      Couldn’t agree more. Yesterday I read what Honda has gone through trying to get it through the thick skulls of owners about getting new airbags. 50% of the people contacted by phone refused to book appointments even with free loaners – how dimwitted can you get?

      From the government perspective, their role has been a complete laugh, because they have not been serious. VINs and owner details are on state registrations. If the goal is to complete recalls, simply refuse to re-register vehicles that have not had repair work done.

      All this futzing about making automakers contact owners, even third or second ones is utter BS when the info is readily available to government. And the usual whining from owners feeling free to disregard recalls just “because” is not acceptable. If your old Subaru with rusty brakelines has a failure and takes out other people in a crash, just because you were too damn lazy to respond to a recall, whose fault is that?

      Nobody in charge is being serious at getting things fixed. They just gab and gab, and seem to be oblivious to the obvious.

      • 0 avatar

        I own a Honda subject to the infamous airbag recall. On one hand, Honda keeps bugging me to get it fixed. On the other hand, the dealership can’t get the part. Or maybe I’m just on a waiting list that they’re working through. Regardless, some of this suboptimal recall completion rate isn’t the fault of the owners.

      • 0 avatar

        Maybe people who don’t follow up on recall notices don’t care. Must they be made to care? I’m more concerned with the attitude that people must be MADE to do whatever is, or others think is, in their best interest.

        I had an airbag recall on my old Altima, to install a weaker airbag on the front passenger side, because it caused injury to children and small women. I insist on children and small women sitting in the back seat where it’s safer anyway, and when I DO have a front seat passenger, it’s highly likely to be a full sized male for whom a weaker bag is less protection. So I ignored the recall.

        I shouldn’t have been able to register or insure the vehicle due to my choice? Whether following up on a recall is logical or not, people are entitled to make their own choices and face the consequences of their decisions. A society that tries to legislate away personal responsibility is totalitarian, not free.

        The late comedian Steve Allen once noted that we humans “cannot even be relied on to act in our own best interests”. Somehow we’ve advanced to great heights as a species anyway. It may well be that it’s not a bug but a feature.

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