Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The 2 Biggest Problems with Automotive Recalls.




Alexander Carabitses

(Image credited to the leftlanebrain.com)



So... the testimony...yeah.  This is clearly a complicated subject to discuss, mainly because I didn't see all of Mary Barra's testimony before the House of Representatives.  A lot more information was disclosed, I'll tell you that much.  And of course GM's recall woes continue with another 3.4 million cars recalled. 

In all honesty, this whole recall thing is getting quite old at this point.  After the whole ignition switch recall, there's been a new recall every other day, and not all of them are GM recalls.  Clearly the reason for all of these recalls, is that auto makers are scared that what is currently happening to GM will, happen to them.  (It doesn't seem safe to own a car in general now, does it?)  Now I'm not going to go into the ignition switch fiasco, because you probably know all the details by now.  Instead I have quite a lot to say about car recalls in general.

First things first, I want to make it clear that I'm not against recalls, but I have two big problems with them.  To start with, while some recalls are necessary,  like those for unintended acceleration, others are pretty unnecessary and in some cases hilarious. A few years back,  this current generation of Dodge Durango was recalled, because of some label that had a typo regarding how many people you could seat in the car. Oh wait it gets better, a few years ago, the Honda Odyssey was recalled for a typo in the owners manual regarding the phone number for customer service. And the reason? See, if you called the number a phone sex line would answer (Autoline.tv).  Why these qualified as recalls is puzzling.  Were they safety concerns? Hell no!  Pointless, but still funny.

Problem number 2: no one pays attention to recalls.  It seems that if a person's car gets recalled and it involves unintended acceleration, or an ignition switch defect most people will listen. The reason is because those two recall incidents were two of the biggest recalls the industry has ever seen. People died because of these recalls, so people will listen.  However, if a person's car gets recalled for a faulty taillight, getting it to the showroom for repairs is the last thing on peoples minds.  

I personally am a firm believer that recalls are absolutely necessary, but should only be issued for serious things, like this ignition switch defect. Unfortunately, the ignition switch incident lead to fatalities and plenty of them.  What's sadder is that this could have easily been prevented, and it wasn't.  And now look at the families who lost loved ones because of this.  Look at GM.  Look at how nervous the rest of the industry has become.  Will people pay attention to these other new recalls? I highly doubt it.
(Information on the Dodge Durango and Honda Odyssey recalls are from http://www.autoline.tv/daily/?m=201212&cat=789 . Click the link and skip to the 3:04 minute mark for more expert insight on recalls.)

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