With at least 30 deaths now attributed to a defective ignition switch in more than 2 million General Motors vehicles sold in the U.S., you might think owners would race to get the deadly problem fixed as soon as possible. In fact, despite a widely publicized recall, only slightly more than half of the owners have yet dealt with the problem.
Some have delayed because of an initial shortage of replacement parts. But it is normal, according to federal data, for a sizable share of motorists to ignore recall notices for even the most deadly defects.
Chrysler is struggling with a similar issue. It recalled 2.3 million Jeeps for to install trailer hitches to solve a problem with exposed fuel tanks that may catch fire. Only 119,000 owners have responded to the notices with just 90,000 getting the repairs done. The maker is currently setting up a website to raise the response rate. (more…)