17 Aug

Owners ignoring recalls? Here’s what to do about it

  • Recall Masters
  • Blog


If you’re going to reach out to vehicle owners, you may need to understand the way they think. Since the rise of major efforts like the emissions-related Volkswagen recalls, there’s been multiple reports on the way customers are “ignoring” recall efforts. Dealers need to ask themselves a simple pair of questions: Why is this the case, and what can we do about it?

Though it’s difficult to say for sure, there are a few factors to take into account. J.D. Power and Associates recently revealed data on the way owners respond to recalls. According to this source, recalls that include 10,000 vehicles or fewer tend to actually have a higher completion rate than those with 1 million or more. Despite the urgency of the Takata air bag recalls, air bag-related actions seem to have a lower completion rate than those involving other critical systems like brakes or electrics.

Owners could be disengaged for several reasons. Perhaps they don’t think they’re affected by the recall, or they aren’t taking it seriously. There’s one possible reason that could be turning them off that’s more under your control, though: They might not even know.

CNBC quoted Edmunds.com Features Editor Carroll Lachnit on the way owners should react to a recall notice.

“Open it, read it and understand what the recall is,” Lachnit said. “Use your common sense a little bit, and if you read the letter you’ll be able to understand the level of risk involved.”

From the dealer’s end, this should show what recall marketing materials have to accomplish. Consider recall communications carefully when there’s an urgent case to address, so you don’t leave consumers more alienated than when they started out. No matter what size the recall, proper outreach is important.

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