Encouraging older car owners to keep a check on recalls

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WASHINGTON (PR) -- NHTSA Meets with Federal and Industry Leaders to Discuss Boosting Recall Repair Rates

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Friday met with federal and industry leaders today to discuss boosting recall repair rates for vehicles and safety equipment. Deputy Administrator Heidi R. King encouraged attendees to work together, and underscored concern for lower completion rates for older vehicles.

Vehicles that are 6 to 10 years old at the time of the recall average a 56% completion rate compared to 76% for vehicles that are 1 to 5 years old, and 80% for vehicles under 3 years old according to NHTSA.

“The automotive industry was built on innovation, and many in the industry have recently made strides to bring that innovation to recalls,” said Deputy Administrator King. “Exploring new ways to reach vehicle owners and communicate urgency for recall repairs, especially for older vehicles, is essential to protecting lives on our nation’s roadways.”

The agency will continue to work with the auto industry to improve consumer awareness and recall completion rates using traditional and innovative communication methods to reach consumers, including using other data sources to make sure manufacturers obtain the most reliable owner information.

The agency will take the lessons learned from the 2-year pilot program in Maryland and encourage other states to adopt similar best practices. When the grant was awarded, Maryland was the only state to apply. However, since then, several other states have expressed interest in helping with recalls.

NHTSA is constantly communicating with the public about recalls – whether through social media, electronic outreach through text and email, radio interview segments, or other media.

Consumers nationwide are urged to check every November when setting clocks back and every March when setting clocks forward as part of NHTSA’s Safe Cars Save Lives campaign. NHTSA will continue these efforts and looks to the media and public for support in spreading the word.

Recall repairs are always free at dealers, and a free Recall Look-up Tool is available on NHTSA.gov. If you get a recall notice in the mail, read it carefully. It will tell you just about everything you need to know, including:
• A description of what’s wrong with the vehicle;
• Any risks or hazards, including potential injury, posed by the problem;
• Possible warning signs;
• How the manufacturer plans to fix the problem;
• When the repair will be available and how long it’ll take; and
• Instructions on what to do next.