Millions of owners aren’t having their recalled vehicles fixed.
Following a record year where more than 51 million vehicles were recalled in 2015, J.D. Power has analyzed NHTSA data to find that more than 45 million vehicles recalled between 2013 and 2015 are still not repaired. J.D. Power used its SafetyIQ platform to identify the primary factors impacting completion rates for those recalls: vehicle age, vehicle type, overall population of recall and type of recall.
It found that older vehicles tend to not be repaired, with the total completion rate for vehicles between model years 2013 and 2017 being 73 percent. In comparison, only 44 percent of vehicles manufactured from 2003 and 2007 have had their recalls fixed. The vehicle type also plays a major role, with large/work vans having the highest overall completion rate at 86 percent. That is followed by compact premium SUVs at 85 percent. It’s quite a large gap compared to the mid-premium sports car segment, which has a completion rate of 31 percent. Large SUVs have a completion rate of 33 percent.
In addition, recalls with a larger population have bigger completion challenges. Individual recalls that affect more than one million vehicles have a completion rate of 49 percent, compared to a 67-percent completion rate for individual recalls affecting less than 10,000 units. Lastly, owners are more inclined to have their vehicles repaired if the recall affects a major component. For example, powertrain recalls have a completion rate of 71 percent, similar to electrical at 62 percent and hydraulic brakes at 66 percent. Having the lowest completion rates are suspension issues at 48 percent and airbags at 47 percent.
“The steady surge in recalls, combined with NHTSA’s stated goal of 100% recall completion rates have made the number of un-remedied recalls still on the road a critical statistic for automakers and dealers,” said Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. automotive at J.D. Power. “By understanding the behavioral trends of vehicle owners, as well as recall completion rates among different vehicle and recall types, as an industry we can better tailor communications to improve those completion rates.”