Automakers Increase Recalls to Become Proactive image

Over the past weeks automakers have made recalls of millions of cars worldwide, a move seen by analysts as an improvement of quality.

Toyota’s problems in 2010 related to the unintended acceleration have made automakers to be more aggressive in identifying potential issues and quickly notify consumers in case they find any problems. Lawmakers criticized Toyota for failing to notify its customers about the unintended acceleration issue, until the problem was brought to light by the fatal car crash in California.

“Protecting your reputation is really at the forefront of everybody’s mind,” said Fred Thomas, industry director at Apriso Corp., which makes software that helps manufacturers track and control quality. “Nobody is waiting for the federal government to tell them to do something. I think that is probably one of the lessons that came out of Toyota.”

This month Toyota recalled 510,000 vehicles for a potential issue with air bags and in February Chrysler recalled 2,000 vehicles to find and repair 16 cars that had damaged fuel tank control valves. More recently, Chrysler recalled 264,000 vehicles, none of them due to an accident or injury. Analyst Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics LLP. said that this is because automakers try to get ahead the NHTSA and because when it comes to Chrysler, the company has to work to overcome years of poor quality and bring back consumers’ confidence.

Source: The Detroit News