In fact, roughly 20 percent of people whose vehicles are recalled will never bother to get it fixed, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).
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A new national survey reveals that nearly 40 percent of consumers complain they don’t want to give up the vehicle to get the repairs, the wait to get the repairs done is too long and they are worried the dealership will coax them into fixing other things on their car, according to the study by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Indeed, the proliferation of safety recalls in recent years has been astonishing. About 51 million vehicles and 34 million vehicle-related pieces of equipment were recalled in 2015, the NHTSA reports.
The new survey analyzed data from an online survey of 516 people, according to Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle, research professors at the U-M Transportation Research Institute.
- 45 percent would travel 30 minutes
- 81 percent would travel 15 minutes
Top Consumer Concerns:
- Dealers will dupe them into paying for more repairs (38%)
- Don’t want to give up the vehicle for repairs (37%)
- Too long a wait for repairs (36%)
Some suggestions consumers made to encourage more compliance with safety recalls is to bundle recall repairs with regular scheduled maintenance, according to 52 percent of those surveyed. Just over half of respondents (51 percent) say they could be lured in for repairs with a free oil change or a tank of gas.
The problem with failing to get these repairs is that the vehicles are not safe to drive and it puts everyone at risk for injury or even death including the driver and their own passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, other motorists, said Attorney James Johnson.
The consumers who were surveyed (61 percent) suggested some ideas to get compliance from vehicle owners. One idea was cracking down on consumers who fail to comply with safety recalls by requiring states to stop renewing annual vehicle registrations of non-conforming vehicles and precluding sales of such vehicles until repairs are made.
Finally, consumers are less likely to get their vehicles fixed if they have to wait a long time to get an appointment. Roughly 74 percent stated they would get their vehicle fixed if they only had to wait a week or less compared to just 27 percent for a 6-month or longer wait time.
The survey, Consumer Preferences Regarding Vehicle-Related Safety Recalls, was supported by UMTRI’s Sustainable Worldwide Transportation Program.
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