Common Reasons Car Owners Ignore Recalls

In recent years, there has been a considerable increase in the amount of auto recalls initiated by car manufacturers. But despite the increase in recalls, there have been fewer and fewer car owners responding to the notices. This lack of response is putting drivers at risk of dangerous defects, and can increase their chances of an accident. But why are owners not responding to recall notices?

The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) explored the phenomenon and polled consumers to find out their reasons for failing to respond to recall notices. Here are the top reasons respondents gave, along with the percentage of respondents that submitted each answer.

  1. “They will try to sell me additional repairs during the visit.” 38% of respondents
  2. “I don’t want to not have access to my car while it’s being fixed.” 37% of respondents
  3. “I don’t want to wait that long to have it repaired.” 36% of respondents
  4. “I don’t know how important it is to get this repair.” 30% of respondents
  5. “I don’t know when, or how soon, I need to get the repair.” 26% of respondents
  6. “I’m not certain whether the recall applies to my specific vehicle.” 26% of respondents
  7. “I don’t know what to do or who to contact.” 26% of respondents
  8. “I’m not sure if recall repairs are optional or required.” 23% of respondents
  9. “I haven’t experienced the problem described in the recall.” 19% of respondents

According to respondents’ answers, it seems that a lack of information or misinformation plays a considerable role in auto owners’ decision not to participate in recalls. What can automakers do to increase the response rate for recall notices, though?

Increasing the information available about recalls may help respondents to better understand all the details of the recall and make them more inclined to respond. Bundling repairs with regularly scheduled maintenance services or offering free maintenance services with recall repairs may also encourage owners to bring their cars in for repairs, according to respondents of the UMTRI study.

Auto makers are responsible for ensuring that cars are reasonably safe and are free of dangerous defects, but it can be difficult when owners are not seeking the necessary repairs. As the number of injuries from defective car parts increases, it becomes more apparent that auto manufacturers must take other actions to encourage car owners to complete the needed repairs.

If you’ve been injured by a defective car part, reach out to our Denver auto defect attorneys. Our team understands the devastating injuries that can be caused by manufacturing and design flaws. The Gilbert Law Group is committed to fighting for the interests of our injured clients through aggressive legal representation and personalized client service. Don’t hesitate to contact our offices and request a free case evaluation.


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