Report: Software-Related Vehicle Recalls on the Rise

New York — June 30, 2016 — While smart cars are still an evolving technology, the vulnerability of software in motor vehicles has already been much discussed. Recent findings by one firm, SRR, show an increase in software-related recalls, which made up 15 percent of the amount of total auto recalls last year. This was a 10 percent increase within a 4-year period, according to a press release.

Software is just one part of the risks that come with the latest enhanced vehicles, the statement said, following on the developments seen during 2014. One of SRR’s managing directors, Neil Steinkamp, commented on the massive amount of software a car may have, based on the latest advances. He said that the new reality demands an appropriate response from the automotive industry to keep operators safe.

“Today’s cars can contain over 100 million lines of code. For perspective, an F-35 joint strike fighter jet contains about 9 million,” Steinkamp said. “When you have that much software in a car—and particularly when much of that software is relatively new—there are going to be some issues.”

Multiple major manufacturers have received complaints centered around software problems in recent months. According to a J.D. Power and Associates study mentioned in USA Today, 2015 saw a 22 percent increase in vehicle-software-related complaints. Software updates also did not necessarily fix all issues, at least in the case of a navigation system problem the source mentioned.

Between 2014 and 2015, the number of recalls related to software issues rose by 45 percent, the article added. Furthermore, the annual number of manufacturer technical service bulletins concerning software problems numbered 160 for each year between 2011 and 2015.

This is nearly 100 more than the annual number for the four-year period between 2006 and 2010. Volvo recalls were on the list of those most commonly associated with software problems.

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News Archive: June 2016

News Archive: June 2016

June 22, 2016 – Infiniti recalls SUVs to fix steering problem …read the full article on the Salt Lake Tribune website

June 20, 2016 – Chevrolet Sonic, Trax and Spark vehicles recalled…read the full article on the Consumer Affairs website

June 13, 2016 – Kia Sedona Recalled To Keep Hoods Closed When Driving…read the full article on the Car Complaints website

June 10, 2016 – Toyota tells U.S. dealers to disclose future Takata recalls…read the full article on the Reuters website

June 1, 2016 – Ford announces 1.9 million vehicle recall…read the full article on the KCCI website

Video Archive

Toyota Recalls Vehicles That Could Overload

June 24, 2016 report from Recall Masters

Is your used car dealership selling vehicles with safety recalls?

June 23, 2016 report from CBS News

Investigators Look Into Car Recall in ‘Star Trek’ Actor’s Death

June 21, 2016 report from ABC News

Guide to the Volkswagen Emissions Recall

June 16, 2016 report from Consumer Reports

Hacking the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SUV

June 5, 2016 report from PenTest Partners

Automakers Still Installing Defective Takata Airbags in Cars

June 1, 2016 report from NBC

Sean ReyesNews Archive: June 2016

Car Companies Reach Out to Insurers for Recall Help

Washington, D.C. — May 10, 2016 — Two major auto industry groups, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Alliance of Global Automakers, are working toward a greater commitment to consumer safety.

According to a Reuters story, the members of these groups specifically want to better address owner responses to recall efforts. With more than 115 million vehicles recalled since 2014, the auto industry is keen to increase the rate of repairs for recalled vehicles. They addressed major insurance providers, including State Farm, Geico and Progressive.

The source got the chance to read the letters, which requested “assistance in establishing a new way to provide vehicle owners with information about any open safety recalls that may affect their car or truck and to urge that owners have the recall work performed as soon as possible.” These alliances include major motor companies, such as Ford, Nissan, Hyundai and Honda.

Recently, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers made a statement before the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. In this address, they noted the ways that carmakers are taking vehicle safety seriously, including safer designs and technologies, such as collision avoidance systems. The organization stated that it had developed better “Proactive Safety Principles” for further work, with greater reporting data analysis and vehicle cybersecurity.

Another factor in the large recall figures is the high amount of units concerned in the Takata airbag recalls. According to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 7.5 million airbags were repaired as of March 11, 2016.

Of these, over 4.3 million were driver-side airbags and roughly 3.2 million were passenger-side airbags. On March 24, BMW said it would not be able to fulfill a Coordinated Remedy Order by the appointed time previously established last November. This would have originally been March 31.

adminCar Companies Reach Out to Insurers for Recall Help

Multiple Bugatti Recalls Issued at Once

Dorlisheim, France — May 02, 2016 — Three different issues have prompted multiple recalls for different Bugatti Veyron cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration listed two different recalls on April 7 for the same model, albeit for varying model years. Neither of these have any incidents or damage reports associated with them, and the manufacturer has not issued a set recall date for any of them to begin.

The first of these involves a group of 13 Veyron vehicles, produced between October and December 2006 for model years ranging between 2006 and 2008. The protection on the B+ Cable in these vehicles could corrode, leading to a possible fire if flammable material is present. The problem comes from water exposure to the cable, and the fix will prevent this from happening.

Bugatti’s second recall concerns 72 Veyron and Veyron Grand Sport recalls split into two groups: those produced between 2006 and 2010, and those produced between 2009 and 2010. Both of these sets have faulty sensors that may lead to incorrect fuel tank readings . This is dangerous for drivers, who could mistakenly believe they have more fuel than they actually do, based on this signal. The solution requires a replacement for the fuel tank control unit.

A press release on Autoblog mentions a third, slightly older Bugatti recall, this one impacting Veyron, Veyron Grand Sport and Veyron Super Sport autos. The oldest of these model years dates back to 2006, and the newest is 2013.

While this recall also concerns corrosion, this time the aluminum reference plates on the underside of the vehicle are the areas that could be affected. With enough wear, these plates could detach from the vehicle entirely, leaving the occupants at risk while also posing a road hazard. Dealers will solve this problem by riveting the plates to the body of the vehicles more securely.

A series of GM recalls for police vehicles with power steering problems also involved corrosion. The NHTSA recorded this action on March 28.

adminMultiple Bugatti Recalls Issued at Once

News Archive: May 2016

News Archive: May 2016

May 26, 2016 – Maserati recalls 26k sedans for rear suspension failure…read the full article on the AutoBlog website

May 15, 2016 – Ford recalls 75k Explorers for faulty suspension…read the full article on the AutoBlog website

May 8, 2016 – Dodge Journey recalled for freezing fluid lines…read the full article on the AutoBlog website

May 3, 2016 – Toyota recalls model year 2016 Avalons and Camrys …read the full article on the Consumer Affairs website

May 1, 2016 – Takata Sets Aside $189 Million for Air-Bag Recall Costs…read the full article on the Bloomberg website

Video Archive

Toyota recalls 1.6 million US vehicles for Takata air bags

May 24, 2016 report from CNBC

Historic Takata Air Bag Recall Leaves Defective Vehicles on NYC Streets

May 10, 2016 report from NBC 4 New York

PROTECT YOUR CAR: Rodents eating wires in newer vehicles

May 2, 2016 report from WSB-TV Atlanta

Sean ReyesNews Archive: May 2016

News Archive: April 2016

News Archive: April 2016

April 30, 2016 – Nissan recalls over 3 million US vehicles for airbag issues…read the full article on the CNET website

April 27, 2016 – Ford recalls 202,000 vehicles for transmission issue…read the full article on the MLive website

April 23, 2016 – Fiat Chrysler recalls more than 1.1 million vehicles…read the full article on the Fox News website

April 21, 2016 – Nissan recalls 2016 Maxima and Murano for brake issue…read the full article on the Autoblog website

April 19, 2016 – Tesla Recalls Model X SUVs for Problem With Third-Row Seat…read the full article on the Farraguter website

April 15, 2016 – More than 1 million GM trucks recalled for seat belt problem…read the full article on the WPBF website

April 14, 2016 – 85M more inflators may need recall…read the full article on the Automotive News website

April 11, 2016 – Recalls slipping through the cracks can be deadly…read the full article on the Driving.ca

April 10, 2016 – Jaguar Land Rover recalls 36,415 vehicles…read the full article on the News18.com website

Video Archive

Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.1M SUVs & cars

April 22, 2016 report from Yahoo Finance

GM Recalls Sierra & Silverado Over Faulty Seat Belts

April 19, 2016 report from Autoblog

Manufacturers, Officials Concerned Consumers Don’t Know About Auto Recalls

April 14, 2016 report from NBC Washington

A Detailed Look Into a Takata Airbag Death

April 8, 2016 report from CBS News

Takata Airbag Death in Texas Spurs Renewed Push on Car Recalls

April 8, 2016 report from Fortune.com

Are new electronic gearshifts putting drivers at risk?

March 21 2016 report from CBS News

Sean ReyesNews Archive: April 2016

2015 Saw Record Recall Rates

Washington, D.C. — February 01, 2016 — Multiple sources have commented on the high recall rates from last year. As the Wall Street Journal notes, 2014 saw nearly 51 million vehicles recalled across the country in 779 different recalls, although it was originally thought to be 64 million vehicles. It still represented a significant rise from the 2013 rate, which was closer to 20 million vehicles.

“2015 saw 51.26 vehicles involved in recall actions.”

By contrast, 2015 saw 51.26 million vehicles involved in recall actions, a sign of both greater scrutiny from the government and some high volume recalls from major manufacturers. The Takata Airbag Recalls and General Motors recalls were some examples of large-scale action.

In comments during the recent Washington Auto Show, Mark Rosekind of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) connected the high numbers with “vigilance” in defect reporting, while also calling for further action. Automotive News also quotes Rosekind’s comments, in which he mentioned the continuing problems posed by large level recalls, acknowledging that they are still part of the “safety landscape.”

This announcement comes at the same time that the organization promoted the Safe Cars Save Lives campaign encouraging consumers to check on the status of active recalls.

“Boosting repair rates requires effective communication at every level and every step of the way,” Rosekind said in a press release. “We’re interested in what the public has to say about recall notifications and today we issued a proposal to get their input. Success is getting a 100 percent completion rate for every single recall.”

The campaign includes videos, banner ads and directing consumers to the online lookup tool available to research recalled cars by Vehicle Identification Number.

admin2015 Saw Record Recall Rates

Study: Recall rates expected to rise

New York, NY — September 3, 2015 — Deloitte recently announced the results of a June poll surveying professionals from different industries on the likely trends regarding auto recalls that will arise in the near future. Judging from the responses of nearly 80 subjects, recalls continue to contribute to the way suppliers see manufacturers, and these companies face multiple challenges in handling recalls effectively, including maintaining strong communication and meeting customer requirements consistently.

The main focus of this poll was the growing effect of analytics software on recalls, as well as the way organizations are using them. More than 24 percent of respondents, the largest share, said that their company is optimizing their analytics, and 52 percent said that recalls have a “high impact” on the” working relationships between suppliers and OEMs.”

In a press release accompanying these results, Deloitte Advisory advanced analytics senior manager Derek Snaidauf referenced some of the steps he believes businesses can take for a greater influence on proper recall performance.

Snaidauf specifically said that “leading OEMs are starting to adopt innovative analytic capabilities like proactive sensing for early issue identification and command centers for campaign management. By cross-source correlating internal and external data sources, employing specialized advanced analytics, and leveraging interactive visualizations, these companies can improve customer satisfaction, vehicle safety, and brand perceptions.”

Most of the respondents (42.3 percent) also believe that the coming years will bring recalls with a narrower focus that impact fewer vehicles. Compared to this, 20.5 percent said that the smaller number of recalls will be accompanied by an increase in units, while nearly 18 percent said there will be no change and 19.2 percent said they “don’t know.”

adminStudy: Recall rates expected to rise

NHTSA spurs Hummer recall

Detroit, MI — July 15, 2015 — General Motors is issuing yet another recall this month, this one for Hummer H3 vehicles with heating motor issues that may lead to a risk of a fire in the vehicle. According to Jalopnik, the issue stems back at least as far as 2008, and is now being addressed following pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is in turn acting in response to consumer concern.

A total number of 196,379 vehicles are being recalled, the majority of which are in the United States. More than 40 fires have been connected to this issue, even though the source says there were “73 incidents involving the HVAC blower motor.” In addition to the threat to drivers, these fires can damage or destroy the vehicles by melting important sections within them.

Although there are other major recalls associated with General Motors, particularly their ignition switch concerns, and this latest recall shows the ways that government pressure can lead to direct action that targets consumer safety.

The H3 models produced between model years 2006 and 2010, as well as the HT3’s in model years 2009 and 2010, are included in this recall measure. To prevent the control units from catching fire, dealers will replace the inefficient modules and make it safer for owners to operate the fan and ventilation systems within their vehicle.

Once a timeline for a recall action has been implemented, dealers need to follow the schedule faithfully and communicate important details to owners in time for them to get the faulty components replaced and avoid further complications from use.

Recall MastersNHTSA spurs Hummer recall

New NHTSA campaign could emphasize recalls

Detroit, MI — June 10, 2015 — This blog has reported about the steps the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has taken to improve its operations in the wake of recent recall issues. The Detroit News recently chronicled a response from Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) and Association of Global Automakers (AGA), the 12 member companies of which are formally requesting a new campaign that would promote better post-recall safety among consumers.

The source says that this action follows concerted efforts from the NHTSA to make recalls more statistically successful. The administration could theoretically launch a nationwide initiative to address proper recall activity, and there is already a website for consumers to check their vehicle identification numbers against for accurate recall data. Members of the alliance include major manufacturers like Toyota and Volkswagen.

Late this April, the AAM released a statement about its own efforts to improve recall rates through a collective research plan to analyze consumer behavior during a recall. In that statement, the organization’s CEO Mitch Bainwol spoke about the goals motivating the research.

“We know that vehicle age seems to be an important factor, but little research has been conducted on consumer attitudes to recalls,” he said. “We can only speculate on why consumers who receive multiple notices do not repair their vehicles for free, so learning more about consumer perspectives is imperative to increasing the effectiveness of the program.” At the time of the release, results were expected this summer.

In addition to providing the right information, dealerships and auto companies have to make sure they are playing towards the consumers’ interests and reaching them in a manner that leads to effective changes. Understanding the trends is one first step, and answering consumer needs is another.

Recall MastersNew NHTSA campaign could emphasize recalls