The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration linked up with federal and industry leaders in November of 2018 to go over boosting recall repair rates for vehicles and safety equipment as one of the protocols for 2019. Deputy Administrator Heidi R. King pushed those who attended to collaborate, and expressed concern about lower completion rates for older vehicles.
According to NHTSA, vehicles that are 6 to 10 years old at the duration of the recall average a 56% completion rate, in comparison to 76% for vehicles that are 1 to 5 years old, and 80% for vehicles under 3 years old.
The Deputy Administrator, Heidi King, explained how “tackling new ways to reach vehicle owners and communicate urgency for recall repairs, particularly for older vehicles, is important when it comes to protecting lives on our nation’s roadways.”
NHTSA called upon four domains to debate and collaborate.
The first area focused on data and dealers in regard to driving results. What to take away from the initial forum is ensuring that manufacturers and dealers gather the most dependable owner information, specifically for preceding vehicles that might have been resold, which include the lowest recall completion rates. Representatives from the National Automobile Dealers Association, National Independent Automobile Dealers Association, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, U.S. Department of Justice, and Ford Motor Company took part in discussing this matter. Stout Risius Ross recognized the importance of improving dealer engagement through more thorough analysis of the data. Dealers, states, and others are being advocated as well to utilize more advanced mechanisms such as bulk VIN lookup to assess open recalls.
The panel that followed conjugated representatives from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, Graco, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Toyota, Retail Industry Leaders Association, and Glover Park Group. The panel discussed fresh approaches to enhance consumer cognizance and bring back completion rates using traditional and new ways to communicate in order to get a hold of customers. The overall motive was to figure out how the innovative ways to create and maintain contact with consumers will refine completion rates.
The third group had representatives coming in from Ford Motor Company, Maryland Department of Transportation, BMW, Mazda, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and the National Safety Council, which all told lessons they had assimilated on top of latest communication alternatives to come into contact with consumers, all of which providing incentives for innovation and opportunities. The party also examined the 2-year pilot program that is in progress in Maryland. NHTSA granted a first-of-its-kind donation to the state to analyze the outcomes of offering open recall information to purchasers at the occasion of vehicle registration. The prior information from this pilot proposal has already revealed positive effects.
Representatives from the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, Volvo Group North America, Thor Industries, General Motors, and Honda were brought together on the final panel to debate recalls of heavy trucks and RVs. Strategies like undertaking the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association’s truck inspection program were explored, among other matters. Additionally, the panel reviewed supplier engagement, as opposed to solely the vehicle manufacturers, in auto recalls, and methods for completion through the use of internal and external stakeholders.
NHTSA also tackled the next steps.
The agency will keep working with the auto industry in hopes for better consumer awareness and recall completion rates deploying traditional and modern communication techniques to reach consumers, which involves operating other data sites to verify that manufacturers get the most authentic owner information.
The agency will apply the lessons learned from the 2-year pilot program in Maryland and recommend other states to take on close actions. When the award was granted, Maryland was the only state that applied. Nonetheless, after the fact, other numerous states have displayed interest in assisting with recalls.
NHTSA is consistently exchanging updates and information with the public about recalls – whether it is through social media, text, email, radio interview segments, or other media outlets. NHTSA will proceed with such efforts and hopes to count on the media and public for support in spreading the word.
In 2018 there were 722 recalls that affected over 29 million automobiles in the United States. Manufacturers currently use state vehicle registration information to contact most owners, so always check that your vehicle registration information is up-to-date. If you get into a car accident and your registration is not recent, call our legal team at Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA for a free consultation and to see what your options are.