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Car giant puts pedal to the metal on issuing recalls

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us, and many people will be looking to bid 2020 goodbye and ring in the bells on a much-anticipated new year.

For the recall market, however, there is no holiday. In the past week, one of the world’s largest car manufacturers announced it is to recall over 2,500 vehicles over safety fears.

Taking swift action straight from the recall playbook, an urgent recall on one of its most popular models was issued, with fears around a brake pedal issue prompting quick action to ensure the safety of its customers.

The manufacturer joins a list of 11 other leading manufacturers announcing recalls of 17 vehicle models in December 2020 so far. The data from previous months shows that this is looking likely to increase as the average rises to 30 automotive recalls in Europe each month.

Recall reasons listed include faulty batteries in electric vehicles causing a risk of short-circuiting and therefore a fire, steering and suspension faults and safety belt buckles rendering them not fit for purpose. A quick look at recall tables reveals a myriad of reasons as to why a vehicle may be recalled, causing accidents, injury or worse.

Safety is paramount in the automotive industry, where even the simplest defect can lead to potentially disastrous results. Manufacturers must be extremely vigilant.

Lockdown has had a significant impact on the automotive industry. Many countries remain in strict lockdown – with rules likely to be tightened even further in the new year. Customers are apathetic about taking affected vehicles to garages, and a backlog of repairs is likely when time safely allows as owners begin to take action, contact dealerships and schedule repairs. This is something that must be anticipated and prepared for now.

Manufacturers must maintain constant contact with dealerships in local markets to allow for swift servicing, acting quickly and responsibly in providing recommendations for repairs and ensuring no vehicle unfit for purpose due to manufacturing faults is on Europe’s roads. A clear communication dialogue is at the heart of recall success and OEMs must have a recall strategy already in place in line with legal and regulatory frameworks.

Having a sound operational plan is vital in ensuring information can be quickly and clearly cascaded to customers. Failure to communicate clear actions runs the risk of leaving customers confused or angered – which could have a profound impact on reputation. Creating a robust set of recommendations should not be an afterthought

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