GM Recall Efforts Target 1M Vehicle OwnersNovember 3, 2014
Troubled automaker General Motors has assigned one of its top marketing executives to reach a million vehicle owners affected by the recent GM recalls. The goal of the online marketing campaign is to get owners of the small cars listed in the GM recall notices to get their cars examined by qualified mechanics. Many of these cars are at least a decade old, so the owner may not be aware that their vehicles carry a defective ignition switch design that could lead to devastating accidents.
Details of the GM Recall
The largest and costliest GM recall in the company’s history stems from a flaw in the ignition switch system. The switch can move from the ON position to the ACC position when the switch assembly is jostled, when the car goes over a bump or pothole, or when the key is weighed down by a heavy key chain. The flaw can cause the vehicle to lose power, which can cause the driver to lose control and can prevent the airbags from deploying in a collision. The design flaw that spurred the GM recall has been linked to at least 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
GM Recall Campaign Targets “Unengaged Audience”
The ad campaign seeks to reach out to owners of the one million vehicle owners who have not heeded the GM recall notices. The automaker is working with web analytics company Acxiom to reach the “unengaged audience” that has yet to have their vehicles fixed. The campaign uses ads placed on popular websites, such as Facebook. The ads target vehicle owners and include links for them to find out how to get the repairs required under the GM recall notice.
Reasons Behind Ignoring GM Recall
Although the owners of vehicles listed in the GM recall notices can get their repairs done free of charge, many have neglected to do so for different reasons. According to surveys conducted by GM and Acxiom, some respondents have claimed that they only have one car and don’t have time to have the repairs done. Others answered that they removed any heavy objects from their key chains, as the company advised drivers to do in the early stages of the GM recall.
GM Recall “Fatigue” A Factor
The GM recall on the faulty ignition switch is just one of the numerous recalls the company has issued in the last year. Mike Rozembajgier, a vice president at Stericycle Inc., a company that advises automakers on managing recalls, cites “recall fatigue” as a reason why some drivers are ignoring the GM recall notices. He stated that the news of recall after recall “just becomes noise” after a while, but he credits the company’s “laser focus” in its online campaign.
Source: Automotive News
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