There Are So Many Auto Recalls, People Tune Them Out

So far, 2014 has been a year of automotive recalls, beginning with the General Motors ignition recall. After just one company recalled 11 million vehicles, any other recalls just feel like piling on. Experts worry that consumers are starting to tune out and not pay attention to any recall announcements in the media at all.

Research by USA Today shows that most years, there are 21 million cars recalled in the United States by all automakers combined. In 2014, GM has announced 38 recalls totaling more than 14.4 million vehicles, and we’re not even halfway through the year yet. The one company could account for more recalls by itself this year than there normally are from all automakers.

A GM executive told USA Today that yes, there could be more recalls on deck through the rest of the summer. Meanwhile, other automakers fear the NHTSA’s wrath after General Motors was forced to pay a $35 million fine for its thirteen-year delay in doing anything about the ignition switch issue. That means that seemingly every car company is announcing their recalls in order to get them out of the way. It doesn’t hurt that announcing them now buries the news under a stack of other recalls, but it also means that the public could experience recall fatigue.

One market analyst for KBB told USA Today, “The typical consumer reaction seems to be, ‘My car’s running fine. Do I need to bother?’”

Recalls becoming ‘background noise’ that owners ignore [USA Today] (Thanks, Wayne!)