Auto Manufacturers: Be Ready for Recalls

by Harald Desjarlais, on December 18, 2017

When auto parts are easily traceable, recalls stand a better chance of being quick and efficient.
When auto parts are easily traceable, recalls stand a better chance of being quick and efficient.

While no manufacturer of auto parts or finished vehicles wants its products to be subject to a recall, these companies must take all feasible steps to ensure such an event goes smoothly. Quickly and efficiently repairing or replacing components discovered to be faulty can have huge repercussions for an organization. A painless and effective recall program can protect a business from regulatory penalties and preserve its image with the public, while mistakes may place customers in danger.

The Pressures of the Modern Recall
All car manufacturers are subject to recalls when something goes wrong. This doesn't mean every company goes about the process in the same way, however. The Center for Auto Safety's executive director, Jason Levine, told Automotive News that he couldn't name a single brand that is at the forefront of effectively conducting recalls. Inconsistency is still worryingly common, with the most efficient recalls typically involving either limited numbers of vehicles or serious flaws that bring intense regulatory scrutiny.

Making Appeals to Drivers
Levine stated that companies can and should be more proactive about recalls, informing customers of potential defects in ways that go beyond the required notification by mail. The earlier an automaker acts to protect its customers, the more effectively it may guard its reputation. Waiting too long can give the impression of a business just meeting regulatory minimums rather than actively looking out for people.

Newsweek described a few of the ways automakers have been reaching out to people who have purchased cars with potentially dangerous Takata airbags. Some companies have sent representatives out in person, while others launched social media campaigns. Rates of successfully recalled vehicles vary widely between brands.

Traceability is Key
When manufacturers make strong efforts within the auto supply chain, they can make potential recall scenarios easier. Enterprise labeling systems that increase the visibility of each component may prove critical in safeguarding the public and repairing damage in a timely manner.

For more on Automotive Labeling check out our report on that topic.