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Insight into latest automotive recall figures

For those operating in the automotive sector, safety is paramount. That is obviously as it should be — the potential consequences of something going wrong with a moving vehicle cannot be overstated.

Manufacturers have a colossal responsibility to ensure that the vehicles they produce are as safe as they can be. And that responsibility is something which manufacturers take extremely seriously. In fact, they frequently adopt an over-cautious approach when it comes to safety.

That means that the sector will often initiate voluntary recalls to ensure fixes are made to any issues before they cause problems for the consumer.

As recall specialists, we keep a keen eye on the automotive sector, analysing recalls to identify trends. Taking data from Safety Gate, the EU’s Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products, we’re able to see the direction of travel. And following the release of our latest report – which looks at Q2 of 2019 – we can see some interesting data affecting the automotive sector.

For example, there was actually a significant drop in recalls following a spike in the first three months of the year. The overall total of recalls was 122 – that may sound high, but it actually represented a 22.8 percent reduction. It’s also important to note that ‘automotive’ covers all types of motor vehicles, and not just passenger vehicles - although passenger vehicles did represent 93 percent of all automotive recalls.

Within that sub-category, the top cause for recalls was brakes, which was cited in 13 recalls. Interestingly, that’s just the second time in four years that brakes was the top cause of recalls. The next most common was airbags (9), software (8) and electronics (6). As expected, injuries was named as the top hazard and accounted for 105 recalls.

And recalls is something that spans the automotive sector. A total of 32 different brands recalled passenger vehicles in April, May and June. Owing to its automotive strength, the most common country of origin was Germany (38) followed by France (22), Italy (9), China (9) and Japan (8). Germany was also the top notifying country with 76 recalls and notifications.

What do these statistics tell us? On the face of it, it’s hard to draw too many conclusions on a quarterly basis but it is certainly encouraging that the overall figures fell in the most recent quarter. However, vigilance remains key and with safety so important, we shouldn’t expect to see the downward trend necessarily continue.

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