NHTSA wants OEMs to make Takata air bag repair plans public


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration knows defective Takata airbags still are in vehicles currently in operation, so the regulator wants automakers to take additional steps to make sure these units are repaired.

Late last week, NHTSA made an announcement, urging OEMs affected by the Takata air bag recall to make publicly available on their websites their plans for replacing all defective bags in their vehicles.

“It is imperative that manufacturers take every available step to reach each and every owner of a vehicle with deadly air bags and take action to ensure that those dangerous air bags are replaced as soon as is safely possible,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King said.

“Public plans will be a resource to communities and to individual consumers to support effective recall implementation nationwide,” King continued.

King added that she has met with affected automakers and urged each to accelerate their remedy of defective Takata air bags. She asked that the plans include innovative methodologies for maximizing recall completion rates.

“To keep consumers safe in their cars and trucks, automakers should learn from their recall experiences to-date and from one another and innovate broadly and creatively when crafting plans to better engage with consumers and communities to replace every last defective air bag in their vehicles,” King said.

In cooperation with the independent monitor of Takata and the coordinated remedy program, NHTSA has engaged in direct consumer outreach and coalition building in key high-risk areas.  

In 2017, NHTSA launched a geo-targeted campaign in the eight highest risk areas to increase public awareness in those locations about these dangerous air bags. NHTSA said it continuously monitors repair rates for vehicles affected by the Takata air bag recalls and posts that information on its dedicated Takata Recall Spotlight website to keep consumers informed on the current status of the recalls.

NHTSA pointed out that it also added improved search functions to its website. Consumers can view Takata air bag repair rates by priority group and repair rates over time for each affected vehicle manufacturer.

The agency also mentioned that it regularly informs the public about the recall through its social media channels of Facebook and Twitter.

NHTSA closed by noting it will continue its consumer outreach efforts in support of the Takata Independent Monitor’s localized Operation Find and Fix repair pilot programs in high-risk communities. The pilots will take place through the fall. Vehicles in these high-risk regions have been prioritized to get repair parts first, according to officials.

The agency said the Takata air bag recall is the largest and most complex vehicle recall in U.S. history, involving 19 vehicle manufacturers, 37 million U.S. vehicles, and approximately 50 million air bags.

PODCAST: How to solve a problem like 57 million open recalls


In this episode, recorded at NADA Show 2018 in March, senior editor Joe Overby sits down with Chris Basso of Carfax to talk about the 57 million cars with open recalls.

They chat about how the company is working with dealers to help consumers get those cars fixed, Carfax's new partnerships this year and more.

The full discussion can be found below.

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89 percent of Autolist survey participants want recall info disclosed by dealer


Your potential buyers likely want to know if the vehicle they’re considering has features such as smartphone integration, all wheel drive or an extended warranty.

And, according to Autolist’s latest study, consumers overwhelmingly favor a nationwide law requiring dealers to disclose whether a used vehicle has an open recall, too.

The survey, conducted in early June, found that that dealers should be required to disclose whether a vehicle they’re selling has an open recall and whether it’s been fixed.

Autolist’s study also found that more than half of consumers look into recall information before buying a vehicle, two-thirds of owners of recalled vehicles get them fixed in three months or less and that most consumers will still consider buying a brand again despite experiencing a recall.

The firm pointed out that recalls affect a wide swath of the American public; roughly 30.7 million vehicles were recalled in 2017. On average, only about 75 percent of recall issues are fixed annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Autolist explained this large number of recalls — particularly those stemming from the Takata airbag inflator crisis in recent years — increases the likelihood that used vehicles with open recalls are sold to consumers without them knowing.

Currently, no federal agency has the authority to ban the sale of vehicles with open recalls.

Recent efforts to enact legislation in Congress have failed. Policing the advertising of used vehicles with open recalls falls to the Federal Trade Commission, which does not require used-car dealers to explicitly disclose whether a vehicle they’re selling has an open recall.

Since 2016, the existing industry precedent set by FTC dictates that automakers and dealers cannot claim or imply that their vehicles are safe or have been thoroughly inspected unless that vehicle is free from open recalls or if the companies disclose the recall in “close proximity to the inspection claims.”

This means that only if the dealer makes claims about that vehicle’s safety in its advertising or presents it as “certified pre-owned” do they also have to mention its recall status.

This has earned the ire of consumer advocate groups, who say the “close proximity” language is too vague and that the FTC isn’t doing enough to protect consumers from potentially deceptive advertising of vehicles that have open recalls.

Just under 40 percent of consumers (39 percent) said they’ve had a vehicle recalled while they owned it; 52 percent said they hadn’t; seven percent said they weren’t sure and two percent said they weren’t sure what a vehicle recall was.

Despite a quarter of recalled vehicles remaining unfixed nationally, only eight percent of respondents in Autolist’s survey who experienced a recall said they didn’t get their recalled vehicle fixed at all.

Forty-four percent said they had it fixed in less than a month after being notified; 24 percent had it fixed within one to three months; nine percent had it fixed within three to 12 months and four percent took longer than a year to have it fixed.

Of the consumers who experienced recalls, safety and time stood out as their main concerns about the recall. Thirty-five percent said their main concern after being notified about the recall was the vehicle’s safety until it was repaired. Thirty-three percent of consumers polled were most concerned with the time it would take to fix their recalled vehicle.

Another 13 percent of respondents were most concerned about the cost of the repair, though it’s worth noting that most recalls are done at no cost to the vehicle owner, including the cost of a loaner vehicle during the repair.

When it comes to shopping for a new vehicle, the issue of recalls is on the minds of just over half of car shoppers, Autolist’s study found. Fifty-five percent of respondents said they look at recall info before buying a car; the remaining 45 percent said they do not.

Finally, Autolist found that recalls didn’t have an overwhelming impact on consumers’ faith in the brands that were recalled.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they would still buy the brand of vehicle recalled again in the future; 9 percent said they would not and 23 percent said they were unsure.

Autolist surveyed 1,126 current vehicle shoppers in June about the issue of recalls.

CarSoup adds attribution tech to help dealers credit marketing sources

COLUMBUS, Ohio - has integrated fresh multi-touch attribution technology in an effort to help dealers verify which particular marketing sources are helping them move metal on the site.

The company announced Monday that dealers can get an increased holistic view of how their vehicles sell on the site via Clarivoy’s Attribution API software.

CarSoup is a national marketplace  to  buy, research and sell inventory, and has about 6 million new- and used-vehicle listings combined. 

The site is populated by 20,0000- dealers and thousands of private sellers who post cars for sale on the site. 

In addition to data on vendor website traffic, attribution technology from Clarivoy can provide dealers with insight on how each vendor and marketing source has performed each month.

“We are very excited about this partnership with Clarivoy. With Clarivoy’s new Attribution API, we can finally show performance according to the amount of sold vehicles that have in the buyer’s purchase journey.” CarSoup president Brian Bowman said in a news release. “Dealers will no longer be reliant on salespeople to properly source where a buyer came from. This enables us to consult with our dealers and provide data they can trust. As a result, our dealers know they are spending their marketing budget in the right place; thus, we can truly prove our value.”

Furthermore, CarSoup suggested that the latest attribution technology from the Clarivoy goes a step further than last-click attribution models to ensure that proper credit is awarded to the specific marketing sources that are responsible for swaying a customer’s vehicle purchase.

Clarivoy’s API software uses proprietary technology to match a person to multiple devices across multiple channels.

“Our Attribution API software provides dealers with monthly visibility into the total number of vehicles sales that our Attribution API partners influenced each month. This will allow, armed with more data, to consult with their dealers to improve their results,” Steve White, chief executive officer at Clarivoy, said in the news release. 

Mazda teams with CCC to enhance recall notification and repairs


Mazda is taking an extra step to ensure recalled vehicles it has manufactured are repaired, especially units with faulty Takata airbags.

CCC Information Services announced on Wednesday that it is working with Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) to address vehicle safety, creating a new method for the automaker to identify recalled vehicles and help third-party repairers notify affected vehicle owners so that necessary, safety-related repairs can be made at franchised dealerships. 

MNAO said it is ensuring that its Takata airbag recall data is uploaded to the CCC ONE Platform, which alerts collision repair providers when the vehicle they’re working on is part of a participating manufacturer recall.

If an open recall is detected, collision repairers are encouraged to inform the vehicle owner and supply a printed copy of the manufacturer’s recall notification. Mazda dealerships then perform all recall repairs for free.

Collision repairers across the country use the CCC ONE platform to write millions of estimates annually. By utilizing the CCC solution, MNAO is able to identify those vehicles and vehicle owners affected by the Takata airbag recall, since implementing the system in March.

“Vehicle and driver safety is our top priority,” said Robert Davis, senior vice president of special assignments for MNAO. “In the event a recall situation arises, we want to move fast, notifying drivers through as many channels as possible.

“The recall solution offered by CCC gives us another avenue to reach drivers of affected vehicles, who may not be aware of a potential recall, or whose vehicles have not yet been repaired,” Davis continued. “With so many collision repairers in the U.S. using the CCC solution every day, we found that CCC is an ideal partner for this important initiative.”

Jim Kinsherf, vice president of the OEM group at CCC added, “Mazda has expressed its commitment to vehicle safety, and we’re pleased to assist them and their drivers with these important recall notifications.

“As vehicle complexity has increased, the industry has also seen the number of recalls increase,” Kinsherf went on to say. “Since launching our recall notification system in October 2016, we have detected more than 1.2 million recalls on our platform with a closure rate of nearly 40 percent.

“By supporting auto manufacturers in their recall efforts, we can help them make our roadways safer; a win for the consumer and a win for the industry,” he concluded.

Top 10 most and least recalled late-model vehicles


The analyst team at 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, 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,” chief executive officer Phong Ly . “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:

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:

More analysis of lists

The team at 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


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


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


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 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 NHTSA for guidance on compliance issues at [email protected] or .

GasBuddy updates app to generate recall alerts


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.