A pile-up of voluntary car recalls

A Mazda sign marks the location of a Mazda dealership in Countryside, Ill.

TEXT OF STORY

BOB MOON: It seems you can't go more than a few weeks without seeing another car recall in the headlines. And a report out this morning offers an explanation as to why.
Just this week, Mazda told consumers it would fix more than half a million cars for steering problems in a voluntary recall. The key word there is voluntary.

Marketplace's Amy Scott reports.


AMY SCOTT: Twice as many cars and trucks have been recalled in the last year than have been sold. The New York Times reported the figures this morning -- 2010 is on track to be the biggest year for recalls in six years. Ten million notices went out to Toyota drivers. At the other end of the spectrum, Lamborghini recalled hundreds of sports cars for a fuel leak. And rather than wait for government regulators to step in, the Times says carmakers were more likely to the make the first move.

HANS GREIMEL: Following the Toyota recalls earlier this year, automakers are more likely to err on the side of caution.

Hans Greimel is Asia Editor for Automotive News. Toyota got slapped with a $16 million fine for waiting too long to recall cars with faulty gas pedals. Greimel says carmakers learned from the backlash.

GREIMEL: I think there's a sentiment among consumers that if the carmakers are transparent and open about it, that the customers are more willing to forgive and forget.

And many do seem to have forgiven Toyota. Greimel says the company's sales are up for the year.

I'm Amy Scott for Marketplace.

About the author

Amy Scott is Marketplace’s education correspondent covering the K-12 and higher education beats, as well as general business and economic stories.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...