The Millions Edition – Car Recall Completion Rates Decline

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May 22, 2015


The Millions Edition – 

Car Recall Completion Rates Decline



airbag deploying during crash test
An airbag deploying during a crash test (courtesy of Huffington Post)



This is disturbing news: According to this study, fewer people are completing their vehicle recalls.


With all the safety recalls out there, why the decline in completion rates? At the end of the article, Autotrader analyst Michelle Krebs explains, “There have been so many recalls recently, people are just tired of hearing about them.” The recall notices are becoming white noise. And there are many. So, so many.


But this study is a little unsettling in the face of, literally, millions of cars under recall for Takata airbags worldwide. Millions. 4.8 millions to be exact. And let me say that once more for effect: millions. According to the Autotrader study, only 48 percent of vehicles under recall were fixed in 2014, which is down from 56 percent in 2013. Doing the math, with millions of cars needing recall work on their airbags, and only a 48 percent completion rate, that means there are still millions of potentially unsafe vehicles on the road, which translates to possibly millions of injuries.


OK, OK. Maybe you don’t have time to get the recall work done what with the office, the trips to Starbucks, the mall, soccer Saturday, business travel, and all the other myriad excuses. I get it. Life gets hectic and sometimes vehicle maintenance gets put on the back burner. (Although I never recommend that. Always stay on top of vehicle maintenance.) But quit being selfish. That’s right. I said selfish. Think about your spouse. Your children. If you are one of the 52 percent who have not completed a recall request on your vehicle, you are putting their lives and safety in danger. Let that sink in for a minute.


Has it sunk in? Good.


And the idea that the number of recalls is what’s making the recall completion numbers decline? Well, I have this to say: Not getting a vehicle under recall serviced is a lot like when you hear a noise in the engine and instead of going to get it fixed because you don’t want to spend the money, you turn up the radio so you don’t have to hear it. Ridiculous. And in the end, often times, more expensive.


In the case of recalls, if you wait and someone gets hurt or, worse, dies from injuries sustained from a non-completed recall how, much more is the cost of that than the time it takes to get a recalled vehicle fixed?


Get your vehicles fixed, folks. Don’t be one of the millions.


Post your comments!






My Final Thought:


I don’t agree with this decision.


It seems Maryland has dropped the parallel parking portion of their drivers’ exam. I appreciate some of the points made, but I don’t think dropping the skill is called for.


If you’ve ever driven or tried to park in a city, knowing how to parallel park is important. When insurance claims rise from dings and scrapes, they might change their tune.


Love Your Car! See you next week!


–Lauren Fix




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