May 23, 2018

Manufacturers Need to Improve Recall Completions

 The good news for used-car dealers is that older vehicles are experiencing fewer recalls.

The bad news is that older vehicles experience recalls in more critical areas, especially airbags.

Overall, recalls are returning to a more normal rate following elevated levels caused by the General Motors ignition switch and Takata airbag recalls.

This is some of the findings presented at this year’s recall summit hosted by the Society of Automotive Analysts.

The decline in recalls among older vehicles is due in part to there being fewer older vehicles due to the lackluster sales at the start of this decade.

Airbag recalls continue as major issue for the industry for many reasons.

“Air bags are complicated systems that control a cannon aimed at your face that fires a cushion,” said Robert Levine, senior manager at Stout.

Not only have there been a large number of airbag recalls, even without Takata, but the completion rates for the recalls lag the industry average.

Levine said this is due in part because drivers are less likely to bring in passenger said recalls for repairs. He said this might be because they rarely travel with passengers.

A concern for automakers is that older vehicles see lower rates of recall completions.

“Getting the cars fixed is the goal,” said Neil Steinkamp, managing director at Stout.

“If we’re recalling the cars and not getting them fixed, we’re missing something.”

Steinkamp said manufacturers struggle with recalls on older vehicles because they have passed on to drivers other than those who bought the cars new.

“You’re reaching out to people you’re not used to doing outreach to.

But the industry can get better results with a strong effort, as demonstrated by the GM ignition switch recall.

Steinkamp said one way to improve results is to involve everyone who touches the cars, including service outlets.

“If these get embraced, we’re going to see a real improvement in completion rates,” he said.

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 17 April 2018 20:28