Editor's comment

Do you recall?

Published:  12 June, 2015

There is always a lot of media interest when a vehicle manufacturer orders a recall and I always have to question why. Of course, coverage is a good thing as it makes drivers more aware, yet there is always a lot of negative stereotyping surrounding it.

Toyota, for example, have taken a hit many times over their recalls, including the issue over accelerator pedals in 2009 and 2010. While the company was at first reluctant to admit to problems it did finally issue various recalls which resulted in much media coverage, damaging the brand reputation. Now Toyota and Nissan are issuing a recall of 6.5 million cars worldwide due to airbag issues.

Yet a vehicle recall is a common practice. As we are all aware, things go wrong on cars, sometimes a batch of a particular product is affected and needs replacing, other times it is teething troubles with certain systems. Aston Martin ordered a recall last year after it found 'fake' plastics in some of its accelerator pedals. Every company is affected and this is where vigilance is key.

While the media is taking a more proactive view and consumer opinion is easily voiced today, there are still some drivers who do not know that their car is required to go back to a garage for repair. Some may have sold the vehicle on prior to a recall, others may have ignored it, or forgotten. Yet when a vehicle comes in for a service, garages can check whether further work is required. In a recent news story it was reported that this is not a standard check for most garages. Recently, Motor Codes launched the recall checker, which allows you to input a vehicle's VIN and find out whether there is a recall history and if it has been carried out.

It is a simple task that takes five minutes, and ensures a car will return to the road safe. The media may vilify the manufacturers for apparently sending shoddy cars onto the roads, so why can't the independent sector take advantage of this poor perception to prove it can do more good for the automotive industry? A five minute check is all it takes.

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