Recalls

Top 10 most and least recalled late-model vehicles

BOSTON - 

The analyst team at iSeeCars.com combed through the federal database and compiled lists about recalled late-model vehicles that could be especially handy for your used-car manager, particularly if your store likes to shy away from inventory with open recalls.

Analysts collected the number of distinct vehicle recall campaigns from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall database as of May 1 for vehicles from model years 2013 through 2017. The site then calculated an average recall rate based on the number of recall campaigns a year per 100,000 new units sold.

Finally, iSeeCars.com compared these recall rates to Used Car Reliability ratings from Consumer Reports.

“A recall means hours of lost time on top of potential safety issues,” iSeeCars.com chief executive officer Phong Ly said in the site’s report. “At the very least, it involves an appointment, a trip to the dealership, and waiting around while the repairs are being made or dealing with a loaner car if the dealership is even prepared to make the fix.

“Owners of cars with repeated recalls are faced with this hassle many times over,” Ly continued.

A majority of the vehicles with the highest recall rates (6 out of 10) come from domestic automakers, with a mix of four passenger cars, two trucks, and four SUVs. Most of the vehicles with the lowest recall rates (6 out of 10) come from Japanese brands, and the list includes a mix of passenger cars and SUVs.

Top 10 Cars with the Highest Recall Rates

Model Avg Recall Rate (Campaigns/Year Per 100k Units Sold) Compared to Overall Average Avg Reliability, Consumer Reports (out of 5)*
 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 5.77 7.3x 3.0
GMC Sierra 3.25 4.1x 2.4
BMW 3/4 Series 2.95 3.7x 3.6
Dodge Durango 2.71 3.4x 2.0
Nissan Pathfinder 2.00 2.5x 2.4
Ram Pickup 1.99 2.5x 2.2
Toyota 4Runner 1.98 2.5x 5.0
Dodge Charger 1.74 2.2x N/A
Chrysler 300 1.71 2.2x N/A
Chevrolet Tahoe 1.52 1.9x 2.4
Avg Top 10 Highest 2.73 3.5x 3.0
Overall Average (across all vehicles) 0.79 -- 3.4

* Average Consumer Reports Reliability Ratings only included for models with ratings available in all five model years, 2013-2017. Source: iSeeCars.com

Top 10 Cars with the Lowest Recall Rates

Model Avg Recall Rate (Campaigns/Year Per 100k Units Sold) Compared to Overall Average Avg Reliability, Consumer Reports (out of 5)*
Hyundai Accent 0.10 0.1x N/A
Chevrolet Equinox 0.11 0.1x 4.2
Toyota Corolla 0.12 0.1x 4.8
Honda Civic 0.14 0.2x 4.2
Honda CR-V 0.14 0.2x 4.6
Honda Accord 0.16 0.2x 5.0
Subaru Crosstrek 0.18 0.2x 4.0
Toyota Camry 0.23 0.3x 5.0
Hyundai Elantra 0.23 0.3x 4.2
GMC Terrain 0.26 0.3x 4.2
Avg Top 10 Lowest 0.16 0.2x 4.5
Overall Average (across all vehicles) 0.79 -- 3.4
* Average Consumer Reports Reliability Ratings only included for models with ratings available in all five model years, 2013-2017. Source: iSeeCars.com

More analysis of lists

The team at iSeeCars.com explained the recall rate can allow consumers to compare vehicles based on their history of recalls. For example, comparing two SUVs between the two lists — the Chevrolet Equinox and the Dodge Durango — the Durango has a history of more frequent recalls than the Equinox.

“Durango owners have to go through the rigamarole of recall-related repairs more often than Equinox owners, in order to replace airbag control modules, brake calipers, alternators, or even radios that could allow third party hackers access to the car’s control systems,” Ly said.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is the car with the highest recall rate. It has been recalled for a host of safety issues, from several different recall campaigns involving airbags to multiple campaigns involving failure in the steering column.

“Among the list of recalls is a campaign to fix the sunroof because it could have been improperly bonded to the car frame and stands the risk of falling on passengers,” Ly said.

“Luxury cars such as the Mercedes C-Class or the BMW 3-Series and 4-Series, which are third on the list, are packed with features, and each additional feature can be another point of failure. This could explain why C-Class owners have to contend with so many recall-related headaches,” he continued.

The GMC Sierra, second on the list after the C-Class, also has many more recall campaigns per year relative to the number of units sold.

Site analysts pointed out the Sierra was recalled for faulty seat belts, loss of power in steering, brake pedals becoming inoperative, and fuel tanks overfilling, among other issues.

“Given that only about a quarter of all recalls are actually addressed, consumers who buy a used GMC Sierra may have to bring their truck to the dealership to deal with open recalls many more times than those who buy a Hyundai Accent or Chevrolet Equinox, which have the lowest recall rates,” Ly said.

NHTSA worried about unrepaired compact trucks with dangerous airbags in 21 locations

WASHINGTON, D.C. - 

Here’s an alert for auction managers and dealership personnel to look for a pair of recalled, older-model compact pickups that might be in the next sale or currently in inventory.

There are 21 locations in particular where the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is deeply concerned that certain higher-risk 2006 Ford Rangers and Mazda B-Series trucks with defective Takata airbags are not being repaired fast enough.

NHTSA reiterated these vehicles are under a “do not drive” warning and the air bags must be replaced immediately. NHTSA is issuing a second public plea to owners to schedule a free repair today for their own safety and the protection of their loved ones.

“NHTSA’s number one priority is making sure that everyone is safe on our roads. I cannot stress strongly enough the urgency of this recall — these airbags are dangerous,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King.

“Every vehicle must be accounted for now,” King added in a news release.

NHTSA is calling on the media, safety advocates, and the public to help spread this urgent safety message to ensure it reaches owners,

NHTSA is particularly concerned about the following locations where many of the units are located, including:

— New York
— Los Angeles
— Chicago
— San Francisco
— Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas
— Houston and Galveston, Texas
— Washington, D.C.
— Atlanta
— Philadelphia
— Boston
— Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
— Phoenix
— San Diego
— Portland, Ore.
— Riverside and San Bernardino, Calif.
— San Antonio
— Austin, Texas
— West Palm Beach and Boca Raton, Fla.
— Knoxville, Tenn.
— Wilmington, Del.
— The U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico

According to the manufacturers, 44 percent of the 33,320 impacted 2006 Ford Rangers have been mitigated, and 55 percent of the 2,205 impacted Mazda B-Series trucks have been mitigated.

NHTSA said both Ford and Mazda have authorized their franchised dealers to tow these vehicles free of charge so consumers can safely obtain the free repair.

 

Donlen rolls out comprehensive recall management tool

BANNOCKBURN, Ill. - 

Donlen recently rolled out a solution to help fleet managers navigate through what can be one of the most challenging part of the jobs — watching for vehicle recalls.

Donlen released its latest recall management offering — Recall inSIGHT — a solution that can gives fleet professionals full visibility to their vehicle fleet’s open recalls, so they can take immediate action by working with their drivers to efficiently manage and address OEM and NHTSA recalls.

Donlen’s Recall inSIGHT can provides a comprehensive platform to identify open and/or closed recalls that can be sorted by campaigns as well as individual vehicles affected by recalls.

Using this platform, Donlen customers can filter recall campaigns by severity ratings and campaign status to prioritize the highest risk recalls and take action as soon as OEMs announce that they are ready to perform recall repairs.

“Recall InSIGHT comes with industry-leading features and benefits that are not offered in the fleet management industry today,” said Oliver Zerhusen, Donlen vice president of maintenance/accident products and supplier management.

“By screening more than 50 OEM and NHTSA recall databases on a daily basis, we provide comprehensive recall information for our customer’s entire fleet,” Zerhusen said.

Donlen customers will be able to access recall information through Donlen’s FleetWeb Intelligence Visualization Suite where they can view the progress of recall completion across their entire fleet by each open recall campaign. The company emphasized this capability can eliminate the need to check multiple OEM/NHTSA websites for recall campaign progress and individual vehicle recall repair completion.

 

NHTSA unveils new compliance assistance program

WASHINGTON, D.C. - 

On Monday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the creation of a compliance assistance program to help regulated entities, including vehicle and trailer manufacturers,  as well as equipment manufacturers comply with safety regulations as a means to promote safety on our highways. 

NHTSA reiterated that regulated entities may not sell vehicles or equipment that do not comply with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). 

“NHTSA seeks to promote safety through proactive and responsive engagement.  In addition to vigilant enforcement, NHTSA also serves as a federal resource that small and large manufacturers can contact for guidance on federal regulations,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King said. 

“A transparent partnership with manufacturers assures the development of safe, reliable vehicles and equipment,” King continued.

King pointed out that NHTSA tests and monitors important vehicle components like brakes, tires, air bags, child seats, seat belts and headlights to ensure they are compliant with FMVSS. NHTSA’s Office of the Chief Counsel issues interpretations on various legal issues.

She added the new compliance assistance program will help NHTSA achieve the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicles by providing informal compliance guidance, to current and prospective manufacturers. 

Regulated entities can contact NHTSA for guidance on compliance issues at NHTSAComplianceAssistance@dot.gov or visit NHTSA’s website for details.

GasBuddy updates app to generate recall alerts

BOSTON - 

Vehicle owners now have another way to use their smartphones to keep up with potential recalls that possibly can be remedied at your franchised dealership’s service drive.

GasBuddy, a smartphone app that reportedly is used by more than 70 million individuals, recently updated its Car Profile feature, providing drivers what developers called an easy way to track and be notified of important vehicle recall information.

“Our mission is to empower drivers in all aspects of their journey on the road, and this is just the first of many capabilities under the Car Profile feature,” says Levi Hamilton, head of product, consumer experience, at GasBuddy. “Everyday tens of millions of people rely on GasBuddy to make smarter decisions from comparison shopping to driving habits; the Car Profile feature provides value, and deepens the relationship we have with our users.”

Drivers can access a new ‘My Car’ section of the in-app profile section. After entering their VIN number or their year, make and model, drivers will automatically receive important recall information and notifications about their vehicle. Recall information is easily accessible in a list format so drivers can see past and current recall notifications over the lifetime of the vehicle.

Drivers can also sign up to receive future vehicle notifications.

The launch of Car Profile follows GasBuddy’s recent release of the Trips feature, which helps drivers track when they have been guilty of fuel-inefficient driving.

GasBuddy plans to launch a series of new capabilities this year that will complement popular in-app tools like real-time fuel prices, station ratings and reviews, and the Pay with GasBuddy program that saves drivers money on every gallon they purchase.

Older Ford and Mazda compact trucks have ‘Do Not Drive Warning’ because of Takata airbags

DEARBORN, Mich. and WASHINGTON, D.C. - 

Here’s an important update for dealerships that might have 2006 Ford or Mazda compact trucks in their inventory or customers who are still driving these older models.

According to announcements from the Blue Oval and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Ford and Mazda said that they are expanding their “do not drive warning” to include additional 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series trucks with defective Takata air bags based on new testing. 

NHTSA officials indicated these units have defective Takata air bags that are an immediate risk to safety.  

“Affected owners are urged not to drive these vehicles and to contact Ford and Mazda immediately to schedule a free repair,” NHTSA said.

“Ford and Mazda have replacement air bags available now and will tow vehicles to a local dealership for repair, and provide loaner vehicles — all free of charge,” the agency added.

Ford elaborated about the situation that involves 33,428 vehicles, which were previously under a separate Takata airbag inflator recall.

The OEM explained the units have been transferred due to an elevated risk to safety posed by airbag inflators that may have a higher risk of rupturing in the event of a crash than other recalled Takata inflators. Ford is advising these owners of certain Ford Rangers to stop driving their vehicles so dealers can make repairs immediately.

Parts are available now and dealers are prepared to get vehicles directly from customers, make permanent repairs that will resolve the safety risk and provide a free interim loaner vehicle, if necessary.

Ford said previously took this action on a population of approximately 3,000 Ford Ranger vehicles from the 2006 model year because there were two fatalities caused by driver airbag inflator ruptures from Takata inflators built on the same day.

After Ford took this action, the company continued its investigation and testing. Further inflator and propellant test data showed higher propellant pressures and ruptures inside certain inflators in vehicles built during the period included in this expanded recall.

Ford said is not aware of any injuries or fatalities involved in these additional vehicles.

Affected vehicles include certain 2006 Ford Rangers built at Twin Cities Assembly Plant from Aug. 10, 2005 to Dec. 15, 2005 and from Aug. 5, 2005 to Nov. 4, 2005.

This expanded recall involves approximately 33,428 additional 2006 Ford Rangers in North America with 30,603 located in the United States and federalized territories and 2,825 in Canada. The total number of vehicles included in this recall now is 36,330.

The Ford reference number for this recall is 18S02.

OEMs have chance for piece of $850 million Takata airbag restitution fund

BOSTON - 

Franchised dealerships have seen scores of customers arrive at their service departments to have defective Takata airbags replaced. Now, it’s the automakers’ turn to be compensated for the matter.

The special master in the criminal case involving Takata announced that he launched the $850 million restitution fund for OEMs that purchased airbags with PSAN inflators from Takata and its subsidiaries. 

The special master — defined as an official appointed by a judge who ensures court orders are followed — stated that he is sending notice to more than 50 manufacturers around the world that purchased the Takata airbags that are subject to widespread recall programs, and that may be eligible for compensation from the OEM Restitution Fund set up as part of Takata’s plea agreement in February.

Appointed by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan as special master is Eric Green, a Boston law professor and mediator.

According to the special master's notice sent to the manufacturers, Takata pled guilty on Feb. 27 to one count of wire fraud and the court entered the restitution order requiring Takata to, among other things, pay restitution in the amount of $481,848,850 to the OEMs who were defrauded in connection with their purchase of airbags with PSAN Inflators and additional restitution in the amount of $368,151,150 to all OEMs who purchased airbags with PSAN Inflators from Takata for a total amount of $850 million in restitution to OEMs.

On July 31, the court appointed Green as special master to oversee the OEM Restitution Fund. His responsibilities include developing a formula or formulas, subject to court approval, for distributing funds to eligible claimants, making determinations regarding allowed claims, and making a recommendation to the court regarding allocation of funds from the OEM Restitution Fund.

Officials explained that a significant majority of Takata’s OEM customers — which collectively purchased approximately 90 percent of the PSAN inflators sold by Takata as of Dec. 31, 2016 — agreed upon a proposed allocation and presented it to the special master for consideration.

Following a formal presentation on the proposal for allocation of the OEM Restitution Fund, several discussions with the consenting OEMs about the proposal, and an independent review by the special master of the proposal, the special master provisionally determined that the proposed allocation provides for an equitable distribution of the OEM Restitution Fund.

However, to ensure that all eligible OEMs have a chance to be heard, an opportunity is being provided for them to object to the proposed allocation or comment in writing to the special master prior to final determination by the special master and submission to the court for final approval.

Green is also in charge of a separate $125 million Individual Restitution fund designed for persons who suffer personal injury or wrongful death as the result of a Takata airbag inflator defect. Green stated that the proposed allocation of the Individual Restitution fund will be announced at a later date.

Under the proposed allocation, the restitution monies directed to the OEMs will be combined into a single global fund. All OEMs that purchased PSAN inflators, regardless of jurisdiction of sale, will be eligible to participate in the combined fund without the need for determining whether a particular OEM was defrauded by Takata.

Each OEM’s allocation will be determined by the percentage of all PSAN inflators sold by Takata globally that was purchased by that OEM as of Dec. 31, 2016. The court noted the special master has independently analyzed the verified third-party Takata PSAN inflator sales data utilized to determine the percentage for each OEM and determined it reliable.

The proposed allocation governing the distribution of the OEM Restitution Fund is set forth in the direct notice that was mailed electronically or otherwise to all identified OEMs that are eligible to participate in the OEM Restitution Fund. A copy of the direct notice and the proposed allocation schedule can be found and accessed on the special master's website, www.takataspecialmaster.com.

Officials indicated any remaining funds attributable to checks which are not cashed or to wire transfers that cannot be completed will be redistributed by the special master pro rata to all participating OEMs.

To receive an allocation from the OEM Restitution Fund, each eligible OEM will be required to provide a release in favor of the special master and his professionals, advisors and agents.

If an eligible OEM disagrees with the proposed allocation, it can comment on the plan or object. Officials said any comments and objections must be in writing and received by the special master on or before Dec. 20.

Objections can be emailed to OEMQuestions@TakataSpecialMaster.com. If a manufacturer does not submit a timely objection, officials insisted it will be deemed by the special master to have accepted and consented to the proposed allocation.

Following his review of any objections, Green anticipates that he will provide the final proposed allocation for the OEM Restitution Fund to the court for approval in January.

For any questions about the proposed allocation, visit www.takataspecialmaster.com, email OEMQuestions@TakataSpecialMaster.com, or call (800) 574-7035.

Tennessee Automotive Association chooses AutoAp to help dealers comply with new state recall law

PORTLAND, Ore. - 

A dealer organization and a service provider are joining forces to comply with a new mandate coming in Tennessee involving vehicle recalls.

Looking for ways to help Tennessee dealer members better identify safety recalls and streamline new recall compliance efforts requiring recall disclosure to consumers prior to sale, the Tennessee Automotive Association has entered into a strategic alliance with recall management service provider AutoAp.

The move is an attempt to help dealers comply with the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Recall and Disclosure Law that goes into effect in January.

“During our efforts to secure the passage of the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Recall and Disclosure Law, we became aware of the real-life difficulties dealers experience in seeking to identify recalls,” Tennessee Automotive Association president Bob Weaver said. “We set out in search of a strategic partner to help our members with an effective compliance solution, and AutoAp’s Dynamic Recall Management service does just that.

“Choosing AutoAp was the right thing to do,” Weaver continued.

AutoAp’s suite of safety recall management solutions can help dealers make informed decisions at vehicle acquisition, reduce recall liability and streamline recall compliance requirements for vehicles in inventory, and generate net-new service revenue from their sold customer vehicles.

“We are honored that the Tennessee Automotive Association has chosen AutoAp. With this strategic alliance, Tennessee motor vehicle dealers are assured of receiving the highest quality and comprehensive safety recall management solutions,” AutoAp chief executive officer Mark Paul said.

AutoAp releases survey to help dealers evaluate safety recall liability

PORTLAND, Ore. - 

AutoAp has developed a new assessment survey that provides dealers with a current safety recall liability score and specific recommendations regarding needed improvements to reduce safety recall liability at their dealerships.

With the report, dealers can gain an understanding of how they compare to the industry average and dealers with effective safety recall management processes.

“Dealers tell us how quickly they are able to lower their liability with the specific recommendations provided in our report. They’ve also said they had no idea they weren’t really covered,” AutoAp chief executive officer Mark Paul said in a news release.

“With all of the safety recall compliance requirements facing dealers today, it is extremely important for dealers to honestly assess how they are currently managing safety recalls. We are pleased to offer this industry-first recall management assessment tool, giving dealers an easy way to quantify their current recall liability and move towards best practices,” he continued.

The assessment includes six questions and is available to franchised dealers through the end of the year.

“Establishing a baseline for current recall management effectiveness, dealer principals can begin their critical process examination and learn where improvements need to be made. David Nathanson, managing partner at motormindz said in the release. “Ignoring ineffective recall management practices guarantees that a dealer will remain at high risk. I applaud AutoAp for making this available for all dealers. It is timely and extremely valuable.”

For access to the online assessment click here.

CarMD launches new educational online 'health report' tool

IRVINE, Calif. - 

CarMD recently launched CarMD Garage, its new turnkey online tool that provides car owners, used-car shoppers and auto industry partners with useful vehicle service and repair information.

Using any vehicle’s year, make, model and mileage, the new service generates a free CarMD Garage Vehicle Health Report with information on how to both reduce the cost of vehicle ownership and extend a vehicle’s life.

“CarMD Garage offers a way to find solutions for some of the most frequently searched for vehicle service and repair information as well as automated, accurate parts purchasing,” CarMD technical director David Rich said in a news release.

“Different CarMD Garage features will appeal to different markets, whether you are a consumer who just wants to stay on top of your vehicle’s performance, a DIYer who wants service your own vehicle or get details and estimates for repairs, or an aftermarket or telematics affiliate partner looking to enhance the overall value provided to customers by offering monthly vehicle health reports.”

Each free CarMD Garage Vehicle Health Report features the following information:

•        VIN decoding

•        Average miles per gallon

•        Recalls

•        Service Maintenance Due

•        Warranty Status

•        Predicted Failure count

•        Technical Service Bulletin count

Premium report information is available for purchase for most 1996 to current OBD-II cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs.

The premium option offers vehicle title history reporting, such as DMV and accident history, as well as a list of detailed predicted failures with descriptions and parts and labor estimates for service issues.

CarMD Garage also can be integrated into partner websites, apps and telematics services.

CarMD said its new service offers business partners a low-cost way to enhance their offerings and increase customer retention.

“As online auto parts purchasing becomes more prevalent, automotive enthusiasts and DIYers find that it can be difficult and time consuming to search millions of parts online to find the right part for a specific vehicle,” the company said.

“When maintenance is due, CarMD Garage pinpoints the right part and provides a direct link to purchase the part online, which also reduces returns for the online retailer.”

Currently, the company is seeking select affiliate partners in the used-car, usage-based insurance, automotive retail and repair shop referral markets.

For more information about the CarMD Garage Vehicle Health Report, visit carmd.com/garage.

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