With millions of American motorists routinely ignoring recall notices despite the potentially deadly risks, automakers are looking for ways to increase repair rates, and turning to an unexpected ally.
An auto industry trade group is asking the insurance industry to remind motorists to check to see if their cars are subject to recalls whenever it’s time to renew their policies. Under pressure from regulators and safety advocates, automakers have also been trying other strategies that have, in some instances, included offering owners gift cards if they respond to outstanding recalls.
The problem is considered serious and only growing worse – highlighted by the March 31st death of a Texas high school senior whose 2002 Honda was fitted with a defective Takata airbag. She was killed by flying shrapnel in what authorities said was an otherwise modest collision. The vehicle had not been repaired despite Honda’s claim that it had previously sent out six recall notices.