In an effort to boost recall repair rates, the National Highway Transportation & Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed that manufacturers be required to notify owners of vehicle recalls electronically through emails, text messages or other digital tools.
Recall notices sent via first-class mail would still be required, but under the proposal, automakers would be able to choose the “electronic means they feel are most effective” in order to maximize the number of repairs in a recall campaign.
NHTSA has said that “electronic means” would also include targeted social media campaigns, phone calls, over-the-air alerts sent to vehicles, radio and TV messages in addition to e-mails and text messages.
More than 51 million vehicles were recalled in the U.S. last year, and that follows the record 64 million vehicles that were recalled in 2014. Unfortunately, many recalled vehicles go unrepaired. According to a 2011 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, annual recall completion rates ranged from 55% to 75% from 2000 to 2008. According to J.D. Power and Associates, 45 million vehicles recalled from 2013 through 2015 were still unrepaired as of last month.
NJ CAR will report on any news regarding NHTSA’s proposed rule as it develops.