Automotive recalls at record high
A dramatic spike of 75% meant there were more automotive recalls in the first quarter of 2019 than ever before.
There were a total of 158 automotive recalls in the first quarter of the year, with 152 of those in the motor vehicle category. Both are the biggest figures in the history of Safety Gate, the EU's Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products.
Within the passenger vehicle sub-category, the top cause for recalls was engine issues which was cited in 13 separate cases. As is usually the case, injuries were named as the top hazard and accounted for 132 recalls.
In total, 37 different brands recalled passenger vehicles in January, February and March. The most common country of origin was Germany (56) followed by France (21), Italy (13), United Kingdom (12) and United States (10). Germany was also the top notifying country with 104 recalls and notifications.
Mark Buckingham, recall consultant at Stericycle Expert Solutions, said, 'Consumers will be alarmed to see recalls on the rise across all sectors featured in our quarterly Recall Index. The automotive sector will pose a particular worry, with recalls in the first three months of 2019 setting an all-time record. However, a high number of recalls does not necessarily mean an increase in unsafe products. What we may be seeing is manufacturers showing increasing willingness to remove unsafe products.
'That would be a positive development. After all, recalls are part and parcel of business and we should applaud any manufacturer who is willing to put customer safety first and remove products even if the risk posed by them is not significant. One thing is also clear – with so many recalls occurring, companies must have clear strategies in place for handling them as the risk of not doing so effectively is a serious dent in brand reputation.'