Car Owners Fail to Respond to Ford’s 2010 Windstar Minivan Recall: What Can Be Done?
By Mike Rozembajgier
Two years ago, Ford Motor Co. announced a recall of 575,000 1998-2003 Windstar minivans because of corrosion issues that could lead to rear axles breaking in half. Now the automaker has announced a second and third recall of 27,000 Windstar vans bought and sold in Virginia and 9,400 in Puerto Rico.
Ford states that it has sent out multiple recall notices and will still repair Windstars affected by the 2010 recall that are brought into dealerships. The automaker even originally offered to buy back Windstar minivans from customers with cracked or perforated axles. But only 60 percent of the vans in the original recall notices have been brought in for repairs to date.
This number falls well below the average consumer response rate to vehicle recalls of just over 74 percent, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
So what can Ford and other auto makers do to persuade consumers to take their recalled cars in to be fixed?
Notifying customers is a vital measure companies in all industries must implement to ensure the safety and welfare of those using their products. But the growing problem of “recall fatigue” can be challenging for businesses to overcome, especially in the automotive industry. Auto companies average 200 safety related and compliance recalls every year.
Some companies, like Toyota, are working to accommodate customers with busy schedules and are offering flexible hours to bring in vehicles for repairs. Toyota understands that consumers need incentives in order to encourage them to make these critical fixes on their cars.
While auto manufacturers can work towards perfecting their recall notification policies, it is ultimately up to the consumer to respond to such alerts and take their cars into their local dealerships for repairs. Still, just like Toyota is doing now, automakers should do everything in their power to ensure the safety of their vehicles and that issues are quickly resolved.
Are you surprised to hear that such a high percentage of Ford vans have not been repaired? How would your company handle re-issuing and expanding a recall announcement? Your comments are most welcome below.
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