The Surest Way to Repair All Recalled Vehicles on the Road: A Vehicle Registration Requirement
No automaker has the authority to force a vehicle owner to complete a safety recall repair, even if the repair may save lives. We are seeking support from state legislators, asking them to consider new laws requiring safety recall completion as part of the regular vehicle registration process.
- Older vehicles are more difficult to locate. Reaching owners about required recalls, and convincing many to complete the free repairs, becomes more difficult as vehicles age. Average auto industry recall completion rates on older vehicles in their 9th and 10th year of ownership are only around 33%. A significant number of vehicles affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls are now or soon will be more than 15 years old.
- Delays can be dangerous. Many recalls involve safety defects that could harm passengers or other road users. If an owner decides to delay recall repairs, other innocent and unaware parties could be injured or killed as a result of that defect. In fact, 10 of the 13 people killed by rupturing Takata airbag inflators in Honda and Acura vehicles were driving cars that had been part of the recall for more than two years.
- Successful registration requirements have a precedent. Some states, such as California, do not allow a vehicle to be registered in the state if it has an unrepaired emissions-related recall. Honda has consistently seen recall completion rates above 90% within two years of the launch of an emissions recall in California. These recalls involve vehicle emissions, not safety defects, but owners quickly take action to get their vehicles repaired because they cannot register their vehicles without getting the free repairs. California’s success with emissions recalls demonstrates how effective a registration requirement could be for safety recalls as well.
- Everyone would benefit. A registration requirement, in all states and territories, would dramatically reduce the risk of death and injury affecting all vehicles subject to safety recalls, not just Takata airbag inflator recalls.
- The customer comes first. Honda believes that there are numerous accommodations that can be made so that this requirement would not be overly burdensome to vehicle owners.