Vehicle Recalls Up 25% in 2007

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Looks like Ford won the 2007 Recall crown for the most vehicles recalled......Mostly because of the cruise control switch recall (especially since they went back ten years and recalled vehicles that
are very unlikely to have a problem with the switch).
From Light and Medium Truck Magazine:
Vehicle Recalls Up 25% in 2007
The number of vehicles recalled increased more than 25% in 2007, but the biggest recalls were largely limited to older models, suggesting that automakers are building more reliable cars and trucks, the Detroit News reported last Thursday.
Overall, 14.2 million vehicles were recalled last year, up from 11.2 million in 2006, but still far below the 30.8 million recalled in 2004, according to preliminary figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the paper reported.
The increase is mainly due to a big jump at Ford Motor Co., which recalled 5.5 million vehicles last year, with about 4.8 million from 2004 and earlier models.
Most were recalled for a nagging problem with a cruise control deactivation switch the Dearborn-based automaker has been dealing with for years, according to the News.
The other top five automakers saw their recall numbers decline, with General Motors Corp. seeing the biggest improvement. GM recalled 537,992 vehicles as of Dec. 21, a 61% drop.
Honda Motor Co. saw a 54% decline. Chrysler LLC and Toyota Motor Corp. also recalled fewer vehicles than in 2006, the News said. - L&MT
At least for now, the original Detroit News Article is at http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID 07712270343
Ed
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C. E. White wrote:

There were about 16 million light trucks and cars sold last year, so the recall rate was about 1 recall per vehicle. Considering how complicated the electronics are in cars and trucks, that is pretty good rate, IMHO.
Jeff

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Well since over 5 million of the vehicles recalled were Ford trucks built before 2004, the numbers are even better. But these are only recalls for "safety defects" not all problems.
Ed

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<snipped>

Automakers will issue recalls for safety defects and for emissions problems.
--

Ray O
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I don't feel recalls should be considered negatively. I think Consumer Reports should subtract them out before calculating repair rates. The end result would be that car manufacturers would tend to do more free recall repairs to keep their repair rate better than average and consumers would pay less for repairs.

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Art wrote:

What were you talking about? It is much easier to follow a thread if you in-line post rather than top post.
I don't agree. It's still a pain to get a car or truck to the dealer. Neither the dealer nor the car maker pay for fuel, wear and tear or time lost while taking the vehicle in for repairs. A separate line for in-warranty repairs (including recalls0 might be appropriate, but they should not be ignored.
I don't think how Consumer Reports reports recalls will affect the behavior of car makers at all.
Jeff

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wrote:

"Recalls" these days are generally only for safety related items. If the manufacturer won't be sued, they typically just issue a TSB, or perhaps have a "service campaign" for significant issues that they feel will hurt their reputation or really piss off the customers. They only "recall" when absolutely necessary or ordered to do so.
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A special service campaign, or SSC, is the industry term for a recall.
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Ray O
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On Wed, 2 Jan 2008 20:33:26 -0600, "Ray O" <rokigawaATtristarassociatesDOTcom> wrote:>> "Recalls" these days are generally only for safety related items. If

Perhaps for certain manufacturers, but there are also "service campaigns" that are not recalls. They are conducted by manufacturers that are fixing known defects or potential defects voluntarily. In addition, there are "service campaigns" that are "do it if the car is in for other warranty service but don't call the customer in".
From personal experience I don't think Nissan and Toyota ever do it - not sure about the Ford group included in the crosspost.
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When an automaker fixes known defects or potential defects voluntarily, they are called (at least in Toyota's case) a special policy adjustment, or SPA.
It is illegal in most states for the dealer to perform any work on the customers car without the customer's consent, whether it is customer pay, warranty, SSC, or SPA work and a violation of the automaker's service policies. If the customer is not going to be charged for the work, there is no reason for the dealer to do it on the sly - the will simply call the customer and say that they found a potential problem, and would the customer OK it if the repairs will be paid for the by automer?

A Toyota dealer that routinely did work without the customer's consent would soon be audited by the district service manager or a warranty auditor from the national office and charged back for those unauthorized repairs.
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On Thu, 3 Jan 2008 21:20:12 -0600, "Ray O" <rokigawaATtristarassociatesDOTcom> wrote:>When an automaker fixes known defects or potential defects voluntarily, they

Yes, just terminology.

Perhaps strictly speaking. I've had a dealer do warranty work and when I picked up the car they told me "we also did x and y at no charge as part of a service campaign". Didn't upset me - in fact, I was happy to know they would voluntarily do work just to keep my car running well.
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still just me wrote:

How is this voluntary? They do it for free?
Jeff
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wrote:

Yes. If it's a "service campaign" of the sort I mentioned: the factory repairs every car that comes in for service if it requires the update at no charge. Obviously they don't do work that requires payment without authorization.
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they
SPA.
pay,
there is

customer
"at no charge" means "for free" in most people's world.
Ted
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still just me wrote:

Yeah, like the cruise control module that they sent me a letter in July saying the parts wont be available until quarter 4... so in november i was at the dealer with my pickup, and of course it was not available, apparently until quarter 1...
Speaking of "absolutely necessary" the car is a 1993... cruise worked fine all those years, and works fine to this day. They recomended I schedule an appointment to have it disconnected... now theres a waste of time ... scheduling an appointment to break something, then come back to get it fixed right... yep, that sounds about like our ford dealer.
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Picasso wrote:

<...>
Fixing a potential cruise control module is necessary if you're going to drive the vehicle with cruise control. However, more likely they were either ordered to do it by the Feds or knew they were going to be ordered to do it. However, the idea of disconnecting the cruise control is Ford's. It has to do with liability.
Jeff
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Ford initiated the original CC recall voluntarily (although NHTSA was likely to have forced an eventual recall). However this last follow-up recall seems like over-kill times three. My Father's Ranger got the treatment. It is 8 years old, doesn't have the always live circuit, and has never had a problem, yet it now has a shiny bundle of wires tacked onto the switch at the master cylinder. I think Ford just decided they didn't want any more insurance fires blamed on the CC deactivation switch. I've followed the history of this in the NHTSA complaint database. Before Ford initiated the original recall, there were very few reports of fires related to the CC deactivation switch. Almost all of the complaints were identified as being associated with a particular batch of switches used on F150s and Expeditions. For these vehicles, the circuit that included the CC deactivation switch was always live (had power even when the ignition was off). Within days of the announcement of the original recall, the complaints started pouring in. You might say that people didn't know they should complain until they realized why their truck may have caught on fire. However, many of the complaints were very suspicious - the wording was literally copied from the press reports. And a large number of complaints dealt with vehicles that did not have the same always live circuit used by the F150. Ranger, Explorers, Ford cars all used a similar switch, but the circuit was a switched circuit (no power when the ignition was off). Yet even these vehicles were claimed to be bursting into flame when parked. All very suspicious. Ford tried to end the complaints by recalling all the vehicles with always live circuits. But this was not enough. Finally they have recalled everything that could remotely have the problem, at a cost of billions. I suppose it is the only way to end the madness, but it sure seems like overkill to me.
Ed
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Quite possibly you had people with cruise controls that failed after the vehicle warranty ran out who are looking for a free repair. That to me seems more logical. Who in their right mind would want to go to the hassle of dropping their car off for warranty work that was unnecessary?
Ted
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Jeff wrote:

Inline is ok on one response, but gets confusing in sequential posts.
I believe they should be left in for repairs. It is defiantly a considerable waste of time for any work done in a shop, be it a wiper blade or a transmission job, you're going to waste the same amount of time dropping it off and picking it up... maybe even more on the recall because you may choose to wait for it. These certainly are a sort of "repair" -- the mfg's should build these things properly the first time (now i know this won't happen) but left in, it is still a measure of how the vehicle is built.
If you were buying medical equipment and looked at the tsb's... would you buy brand A (lets say a chevy cavalier with 321tsbs & numerous recalls) or a brand B (lets say a crown victoria with 100tsbs and a couple recalls... ;P
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Picasso wrote:

Thanks for showing us bottom posting isn't very easy to follow either.

Yet it is nearly impossible to avoid recalls and service problems in vehicles. There is no way to predict with 100% certainty that something will perform the way you think it will perform. Plus, not everything is made by the automakers themselves. If a subcontractor makes a mistake, that could lead to a recall.

Depends. It could be that the recalls for one brand were a lot of minor recalls and the other recalls were for problems leading to, how shall I put it?, fatal misadventures. I would look at the types of recalls as well.
Jeff
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