Senators press dealers on recalls; study highlights dealer role

Senators press dealers on recalls; study highlights dealer role

Recalls have been in the news a great deal the last couple of years, and with the Volkswagen scandal, they are about to hit the headlines again. Two Senators are weighing in as an industry study shows the critical role of dealers in getting consumers with recalled cars to the dealership.

In letters to NADA and NIADA, Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) pressed for dealers to fix all recalled vehicles before they are sold. New cars under recall already must be repaired before sale, and a Senate transportation bill would require the same with rental cars. The Senators wrote, –we remain very concerned that used car purchasers will be the only category of vehicle consumers unprotected against potentially dangerous recalled vehicles.”

NADA opposes a requirement for all recalled vehicles. In a statement to the Detroit News, NADA said –there is no evidence that a blanket grounding of all used vehicles with open recalls will make the roads or consumers any safer.” Such an action would severely depress used-car and trade-in values.

A study recently released by the Auto Alliance and Global Automakers shows the key role dealers play in getting consumers to bring their recalled cars for repair. The research was designed to understand why about one-fourth of owners donêt have their recalled cars fixed.

–Nationwide, 93 percent of those who had heard about a safety recall on their vehicle learned about it from the automaker and the new vehicle dealer communications,” said Mitch Bainwol, president of the Alliance.

Consumers who bought their car new or who have their car repaired at a dealership are more likely to bring their recalled car for repair, the study found reinforcing the idea that regular dealership customers are the most likely to have recalled cars fixed. Those least likely to bring a recalled car for repair include people who bought their car used or who are younger than 35.

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