Controversy About A New Recall Site

images-35.jpgThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration created the new website, where people can sign up and get emails that notify you about automotive recalls.  It’s a pretty good idea, right?  All you have to do is give your vehicle information to the NHTSA and you will get notifications by cell phone, PDA, email, or RSS feed if your car is affected by a recall.

Consumer advocate groups say not quite.  Groups, such as the Consumer Federation of America, and the Center for Auto Safety claim that the program is a “sham” and also counter-productive.

Approximately 600 recalls are issued by the NHTSA per year, and car owners, who usually receive notification letters by the car manufacturers, don’t usually take notice.  In fact, one out of four owners ignore these notifications, even in the case of a dangerous issue.

NHTSA electronic notifications were designed to help cut down that figure, however the recall notices wouldn’t be sent for specific cars according to the VIN number or model.  Instead, they are sent based on a car’s make and year.  For instance, if there were a recall for a 2008 Toyota Tundra, you would get a notification if you only own a Camry.

The argument by consumer groups is that vehicle owners will be more likely to ignore notices because they may get six emails per month.  In other words, motorists may find themselves calling for roadside assistance because they get bombarded by too many emails.

Posted on Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 at 6:14 pm In Roadside Assistance Program