Need For Recall Repairs Poses Safety RisksDecember 30, 2014
A study from the Center for Auto Safety shows that less than half of all vehicles in need of recall repairs have undergone the necessary work. The study showed that only 40 percent of all vehicles cited for recall repairs have been repaired. These recall notices include those for the defective ignition switch found in millions of General Motors vehicles. A defect in Takata airbag systems has been linked to at least five fatalities and has also sparked a massive recall effort.
Thousands of GM Vehicles Need Recall Repairs
The GM ignition switch problem has led to the company issuing recall notices to more than 2.6 million vehicle owners. The reason for the recall repairs stems from a flaw in the ignition system that can cause the vehicles to lose power and has been linked to at least 40 deaths. The CAS study shows that 60 percent of the affected vehicles have undergone the needed recall repairs since the automaker issued its recall notices in February. More than 700,000 cars are still on the road with the faulty ignition switch.
Takata Recall Repairs Affects Millions of Cars
Another major recall involves Japanese auto parts manufacturer Takata. The recall involves a volatile chemical in the airbag deployment system, which can cause the system to explode and propel metal and plastic shards into the front-seat passengers. The recall notice covers more than 14 million vehicles, most of them from Honda, but also including BMW, Ford, Chrysler, GM, and Toyota. The CAS report shows that less than ten percent of the vehicles in need of recall repairs from the faulty airbag have received the replacement parts.
Automakers Deal With Recall Repairs Issues
Several issues have delayed automakers from implementing the needed recall repairs on every affected vehicle. In the case of the GM ignition switch, only vehicles from 2003 to 2011 are eligible for the recall repairs. Since those model years are no longer in production, dealers and mechanics have a more difficult time obtaining the replacement parts. Also, many older vehicles have gone through multiple owners. The recall notices may be issued to the previous owners, but the current owners could be unaware of the problems.
Awareness Campaigns For Recall Repairs
Automakers are encouraging vehicle owners to check the make and model of their vehicles to see if they need recall repairs. GM has launched a social media campaign to raise awareness of the ignition switch recall. The company has also opened bilingual call centers to answer questions surrounding recall repairs in Spanish and English. The manufacturer also started offering $25 gift cards to owners of the affected vehicles to encourage them to get the needed recall repairs. The campaign brought in several thousand vehicles and is expected to continue through January 2015.
Source: Los Angeles Times
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