Finding out that your car has been recalled is an unpleasant experience. You might worry for your safety or the safety of your family. At the very least, it is an irritation providing one more thing to deal with in your busy life. How people respond to this situation varies greatly from individual to individual. The record number of recalls in 2014 provides an excellent opportunity to analyze how recall notices are handled by the driving public.
According to federal regulators, 75 percent of the vehicles recalled are brought in and fixed 18 months after the recall was announced. By that time, vehicle owners have typically received multiple notices of the problem. Some of the vehicles that aren’t repaired may be out of service or otherwise unavailable for repair. The vast majority are just being used as they always have been. Those unrepaired vehicles are not only a danger to their owners and passengers, they are a danger to everyone on the road with them.
Several methods of improving the rate of recall repairs have been tried. General Motors has offered $25 gift cards to encourage car owners to bring their recalled vehicles in for service. The way recall notices are distributed has been changed over the years. Now, two Senators are pushing a bill that would tie recall repairs to vehicle registration. If passed, the owners of recalled vehicles could not renew their registration until the repairs were completed.
If you are driving a car or truck that has been recalled, it is in your best interests to have it repaired. It may be inconvenient, but it is far preferable to getting into an accident.
Source: Consumerist, “RECALL Act Would Require Consumers Fix Vehicle Safety Issues Before Registration Renewal,” by Ashlee Kieler, 3 March 2015