The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has begun an initiative to improve what it calls "unacceptably low" recall completion rates for safety defects on vehicles.
The agency brought together safety advocates, automotive industry representatives and transportation officials for a workshop on on the topic, according to NHTSA. Research shows that defective cars only get repaired by consumers two-thirds of the time.
One catalyst for the discussion comes from the massive recall on defective Takata airbag inflators. Even with the record-breaking number of recalls, drivers are failing to take them in for repair. Executive Vice President of American Honda John Mendel explains the lack of interest is due to "recall fatigue," stated in a Consumer Reports article. In 2014, NHTSA saw the highest number of vehicle recalls in more than three decades. There were 803 vehicle recalls involving 63.9 million vehicles, including two of the ten largest vehicle recalls in history.
Automakers are trying to stress the importance of getting your recalled vehicle fixed with new marketing strategies. General Motors redesigned mailings with different imagery and also promoted on YouTube and Yahoo! and offered loaner cars, according to a Bloomberg report.
“While NHTSA has worked hard to improve our processes for identifying vehicle safety defects, simply identifying problems isn’t enough. To keep Americans safe, the problems we find have to get fixed,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “Recent high-profile recalls have taught us important lessons about the obstacles to higher completion rates, and we brought everyone to the table to help spread those lessons and develop new approaches to the recall process.”