Automotive Defect & Recall Report Details Change in Industry

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October 14, 2019—Stout today released results of its latest research into automotive recalls in the 2019 Automotive Defect & Recall Report. 

Stout's fifth annual report builds on the original research that began in 2013. As in years past, Stout says it has compiled and analyzed prior-year data from a vast array of sources, including National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Department of Transportation (DOT), multiple U.S. jurisdictions, international recall databases, financial reports and other sources. 

Although defect trends associated with advanced automotive technologies are still emerging, Stout has identified indications of how these components are beginning to contribute to recalls in vehicles, offering insight into what OEMs and suppliers may expect to encounter as such technologies become more prevalent. 

"Despite a record number of passenger vehicle recall campaigns in 2018, the number of vehicles affected by recalls has now stabilized," the report states. "This means that the size of recall campaigns continues to shrink, a sign that the industry is more proactively identifying and responding to defects."

Findings from our research include: 

  • Stout observed more light vehicle recall campaigns in 2018 than any prior year 
  • Nearly 8 million vehicles were affected by software-based defects, more than three times greater than any prior year, and exceeding the prior five years combined 
  • Of all component types, airbags were the most prevalent type in recall campaigns in 2018, even when excluding Takata 
  • Six campaigns (excluding Takata inflator recalls) involving more than 1 million vehicles accounted for nearly 50 percent of all vehicles recalled in 2018. This is the greatest concentration of vehicles affected by non-Takata campaigns involving more than 1 million vehicles since 2009.

The full report can be found here.

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