Auto Industry to Insurers: Help Us Tell Consumers About Safety Recalls

Two major auto industry groups have asked major insurance firms this week to help inform consumers about safety recalls affecting their vehicles. The groups are working to improve safety-recall compliance.

When it comes to recalls, the auto industry wants everyone to get the necessary repairs before it’s too late.

And to encourage full compliance, two key auto industry associations are calling on the insurance industry to help.

Earlier this week, the Association of Global Automakers and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) sent letters to the heads of major insurance companies, asking them to encourage their customers to get necessary repairs done on recalled vehicles.

Reuters reported that State Farm, Liberty Mutual, Geico, Progressive, and Nationwide were among the insurance firms contacted by the trade groups. The letters asked for “assistance in establishing a new way to provide vehicle owners with information about any open safety recalls that may affect their car or truck and to urge that owners have the recall work performed as soon as possible.”

The challenge of getting car owners to repair open recalls is significant: Roughly a quarter of all cars never receive the necessary repairs, according to Reuters.

On Thursday, AAM President and CEO Mitch Bainwol reiterated these points in comments to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade. But Bainwol also emphasized that the industry conducted a study last year to better understand why people don’t take care of recalls.

“Through this study, we discovered that, while most consumers are aware of the recall, only a fraction of them actually get their vehicle repaired. We also learned that the older the vehicle is the less likely consumers are to have a recall completed,” Bainwol read from a prepared statement [PDF].

The House committee is currently working on plans to reauthorize the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an agency that has also emphasized the importance of following through on safety recalls. Bainwol specifically credited NHTSA for its efforts on the issue, highlighting the agency’s site during his prepared statements.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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