The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a new public awareness campaign this week called “Safe Cars Save Lives”. The program is focusing on ways to encourage drivers to regularly check for open recalls and to get them fixed as soon as possible. According to NHTSA statistics, last year there were close to 900 recalls affecting 51 million vehicles nationwide, with an average 25 percent of recalls left unrepaired. Continue reading

With record recalls in the past few years, part shortages have owners concerned that they may be driving vehicles that could potentially harm them. Part of the challenge is that companies send defect notices to drivers before parts are available and will send a second notice when the parts are obtained, but according to consumer advocate Rosemary Shahan, even when parts do become available, limited repair facilities and a shortage of technicians are making it difficult to get the repairs done quickly. She says automobile manufacturers are not doing enough to help consumers.

In the above video, a CBS Sacramento investigation tells you what you can do if you have to wait for recall repairs.

Fiat Chrysler will pay up to $105 million in penalties and fines, and will buy back almost half a million recalled vehicles after an NHTSA investigation found the automobile manufacturer violated auto safety regulations. The fines include a $70 million cash payment, an agreement that Fiat Chrysler will spend $20 million improving its recall process and an additional $15 million payable if the automaker is found to have committed any further violations. Continue reading

In October 2014, the NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened an audit query to investigate the delays of recall campaigns 13V-528 and 13V-529, after owners complained about difficulty obtaining service appointments and part availability issues. The NHTSA experienced additional concerns with the administration, execution, and pace of an additional 22 safety recalls as a result of complaints from vehicle owners involving part availability issues, lack of notification, and misinformation from dealers. Continue reading

A new legislation introduced to the senate this week, would force states to inform drivers about safety recalls on their vehicles and require them to have repairs done before renewing their registration. The Repair Every Car to Avoid Lost Lives, or RECALL Act, has been introduced to address the millions of vehicles that have unfixed recalls and concerns that less that 70% of vehicle repairs are done within 18 months of being recalled. The bill has already received support from several consumer groups including the Center for Auto Safety, the Consumer Federation of America, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, and even some automakers.

Months after receiving recall notices, millions of vehicle owners are still waiting to hear how long it will take to get recalls repaired. Delays in the recall system have resulted in unsafe conditions as owners continue to drive with defects. Sometimes the companies or dealers offer free loaner cars, but most of the time they don’t. This leaves car owners with a difficult decision of whether they should continue driving and hope the problem doesn’t affect them, or rent a car. In some circumstances it may take months or even years before parts become available.