Alarming number of vehicle owners not responding to vehicle recalls

Last Sunday the popular show on DSTV – Carte Blance, featured a short documentary on the problems with sudden unintended acceleration.  This is something that we discussed in quite some detail on the Car Insurance Blog and specifically in the post titled “Should owners of recalled Toyota’s fear higher car insurance premiums?”

It is however not only Toyota who had to recall a number of vehicles on account of sticking accelerator pedals, but rather a large number of manufacturers on an even wider range of vehicle components. For more on these vehicle recalls also view “Vehicle recalls and Car Insurance”

Are Vehicle owners answering the call to repair vehicles recalled?

I have found some alarming info on which reveals that too many vehicle owners are merely shrugging their shoulders and continue driving with their vehicles unfixed!

Even though the stats are from the U.S., it is well worth sharing this alarming data.

The Numbers of Vehicle Recalls:

  • In 2010, automakers issued a record 14.9 million voluntary vehicle recalls according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
  • According to a report issued last month by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), just 70 percent of recall repairs on cars and trucks are completed within an 18-month time frame.

This means that about one-third or more of all cars that are recalled aren’t being fixed. Motorists are sharing the road with many other road users driving cars with some serious defects!

How does this impact on Car Insurance?

Once vehicle owners have done what is required in notifying vehicle owners of the need to have the recalled car fixed, the onus shifts to the vehicle owner to comply with the request. Not doing so is irresponsible, dangerous and can have serious implications not only for road safety but also financially!

Failing to heed a recall notice on your car increases the risk of getting in accident. This might still be deemed as an accident where the vehicle owner /driver was at fault  and that in turn can cause your car insurance rates to spike.

What do vehicle owners need to know about vehicle recalls?

We would like to provide a few recommendations to vehicle owners:

  • Keep an ear to the ground and an eye on the media about recalls.
  • When in doubt – feel free to contact your local dealer to enquire whether your vehicle has been included in any vehicle recalls.
  • The internet is a rich source of information and can be used effectively in the search for vehicle recalls
  • Many car manufacturers also list recalls on their websites.
  • Keep in mind that a recall repair is free to the car owner and doesn’t have an expiration date – The manufacturer will have to fix your vehicle no matter how old the recall is.

These recommendations should also be taken to heart by vehicle owners in South Africa. Instead of only pointing fingers after the accident we need to ensure that our vehicles are in the best possble condition. It is most important to obey the call to have the vehicle returned for inspection to the manufacturer.

We need to do so not for the purposes of affordable car insurance premiums, but for the safety of you, your passengers and other road users!

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