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New Report Faults American Auto Recall Process

Millions of motorists routinely ignore potentially deadly defects.

by on Jun.16, 2011

Toyota claims a successful recall for models like the Camry involved in the sudden acceleration campaign - but perhaps a million vehicles will still never be repaired.

Perhaps a million or more Toyota owners have ignored a series of recalls due to potential defects that could lead their vehicles to unexpectedly accelerate out of control.

And that’s the good news.  Officials with the Japanese automaker brag that they have had one of the most successful recall campaigns ever to repair potentially sticky accelerator pedals and carpets that can become trapped beneath the throttle, convincing upwards of 80% of their owners to bring in vehicles covered by the unintended acceleration recall campaigns.  Most of the time, the response rate is significantly lower, often under 50%, according to industry officials.

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And that’s a major problem cited by a new Government Accountability Office report that finds serious fault with the way recalls are conducted in the United States.  It reveals that many American motorists routinely ignore warnings of safety defects and as a result there are millions of vehicles on the road that have never undergone necessary repairs for problems that can, in many instances, be extremely serious.

Notices of safety campaigns are routinely ignored, said the report, so that, “Many recalled vehicles are never fixed, posing a risk to vehicle operators, other drivers, and pedestrians.”