Doesn't it seem like there’s another vehicle being recalled every day? You would think that new vehicles are all junk, but here is the real story behind the recalls.

After the Ford Explorer and Firestone problems happened, things changed. The federal government now requires automakers to notify the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration with periodic reports on consumer complaints and claims. Because of this, the automakers are much more likely to recall a vehicle before the government makes them do it. 

Also, new vehicles have complex electronics and safety systems on board. And when things like air bags have a minor problem, that could turn into a major liability for the automaker. Any problems with things like air bags need to be corrected right away. The fastest way to do that, and reduce the automakers liability, is to recall the car. 

Finally, the automakers now like to use some of the same parts on as many different vehicles as possible. That saves them a ton of money, but when there is a problem with one of those parts, it can lead to a huge number of vehicles being recalled. One little strap on GM pickup tailgates lead to 4 million trucks being recalled!

The overall number of vehicles recalled last year set a record. But the truth is that quality and customer satisfaction are actually up these days. You would just never know it from the number of recalls.

The Auto Guy – Jim Champion
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