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Study Finds Cities Most and Least Impacted by Automotive Recalls

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July 26, 2017—RepairPal released a study compiling user activity data and recall information to see which major metro areas are the most and least impacted by recalls.

RepairPal analyzed website user activity by zip code and recall data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over the past five years to determine the major metro areas most and least impacted by recalls.

The top five metropolitan areas most affected by vehicle recalls:

  1. Pittsburgh, Pa.
  2. New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y. and N.J.
  3. Edison, N.J.
  4. Newark-Union, N.J. and Pa.
  5. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. and N.H.

The top five metropolitan areas least affected by vehicle recalls:

  1. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.
  2. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, Ore. and Wash.
  3. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.
  4. Richmond, Va.
  5. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va. and N.C.

The area most impacted by recalls was Pittsburgh, Penn, with data suggesting 60.85 percent of vehicle researchers in the Pittsburgh area seeing a recall. Pittsburgh's affinity for Chevys may be partially to blame for their high recall score. In particular, two of the vehicles RepairPal users in this city researched most frequently include the 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt and the 2006 Chevrolet Aveo—both of which were hit with relatively large recalls in the past 5 years.

Pittsburgh was followed by the New York-White Plains-Wayne metropolitan area in New York and New Jersey with a rate of 60.13 percent. In New York, RepairPal users more frequently research very common (and commonly recalled) cars, like the Honda Accord and CR-V, as well as the Toyota Corolla and Camry. In addition, the BMW 325i seems to have a surprising following in this region. The fact that it was part of a recall twice—in 2013 and in 2016—didn't help New York's score.

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