Automotive recalls dip in 2018, but only just

Automotive recalls dip in 2018, but only just

Posted: by Stericycle on Jan 17, 2019

The automotive industry remains one of the most competitive in the world, with manufacturers all across the world having to work hard to earn each customer’s spend.

As the second largest single investment most of us will make – next to our homes – vehicles come with an ever-increasing range of features to draw in the would-be owner, focusing on everything from driver safety to in-car entertainment.

With such an increase in features or technology in each vehicle, it is reassuring to see that the number of automotive recalls issued on the Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products (Safety Gate) across Europe in 2018 was 4.5% lower than it was in 2017, at 420.

However, it is important to note that the reason for a recall notice on the Safety Gate register is usually of a very serious nature – one that can cause harm to both passengers in a vehicle as well as other road users. As well as listing vehicles, the automotive category also includes items such as motorcycle helmets, seatbelts and tyres, making up 23 of the items listed.

So while there has been a slight decrease in the number of listings on the register, that some of the world’s biggest brands are listed is a salient reminder that it doesn’t matter how good your production or testing processes are – mistakes can and sometimes do happen. What’s crucial, is being able to address them quickly and effectively when they do.

Delve into the figures, and we can quickly see further validation of that. Of the 420 recalls in the automotive category, 50 (11.9%) related to faults with braking systems, presenting a risk not just to those using the vehicle, but to other road users.

Meanwhile, 57 (13.5%) of the defects leading to the Safety Gate alert related to a fire risk, with defects in electrical or mechanical components the cause in the vast majority of cases.

Injuries, however, was the most common risk category in those products listed on the register, comprising up 367 of the products listed, or 87% – some of which are also categories as a fire risk.

Of the 420 vehicles to be recalled via the Safety Gate system, all but one was listed as a ‘serious risk’. It’s also worth noting that not all of the products listed on the Safety Gate register last year are new, with some having originally been manufactured several years ago, even as far back as 1997.

Stericycle’s experience of handling product recalls as complex even as this means we know how much a customer values prompt, precise action. In this case, other road users will appreciate it too, especially when it could affect others. When it comes to that, there’s simply no margin for error.