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Expect Auto Recalls to Remain High in 2015, Study Says

If 2014 was the “Year of the Recall,” 2015 will be following close behind.
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/ Source: The Detroit Bureau

If 2014 was the “Year of the Recall,” 2015 will be following close behind.

Stout, Risius and Ross, a financial advisory firm, released its second annual automotive industry warranty and recall study suggesting that the federal government is getting better at determining when there is a problem and getting automakers to take action, which will mean more recalls than normal this year. Another year with 63.9 million vehicles recalled shouldn’t happen nor should a replay of last year’s type of recalls where two large events dominate the recalls. According to the firm, Takata’s faulty air bags accounted for 30 percent of last year’s recalls and General Motors was good for 20 percent related to glitch ignition switches. GM, Toyota, Ford and Chrysler led the year in recalls.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Agency collected $126 million in civil penalties, exceeding the total amount collected in the agency’s entire history. This year could lead to more recalls, but in smaller numbers. The large multi-million vehicle recalls get the headlines, and actions involving more than 100,000 vehicles accounted for more than 30 percent of all recalls in 2014, but most involve much smaller numbers: 10,000 or less.

The study also found that automakers are improving at completing repairs on recalled vehicles. In 2014, automakers fixed about 80 percent of recalled vehicles. The firm estimates there are 46 million vehicles on the road with recall issues that still haven't been repaired.

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-- Mike Strong, The Detroit Bureau