I joined Katy Martinez of Predictive Strategies at this year’s Auto Intel Summit to discuss the Takata Airbag recall and how it’s driving innovation in the auto recall space. Predictive Strategies is a performance marketing company that uses analytics to drive successful campaigns by influencing consumer behaviors.
The Takata Airbag recall is the largest, most complex recall in U.S. history, affecting 67 million airbag inflators across 19 car manufacturers. Defective inflators can cause the airbags to deploy explosively, possibly causing severe injury or even death. At this point, about 74% of the affected vehicles – around 50 million – have been repaired. While this is higher than the typical 60% recall completion rate, car manufacturers are pushing hard to find the remaining vehicles.
As time passes and the affected cars age (the affected model years are 2002-2015), they become harder and harder to find. Vehicle owners relocate, vehicles change ownership or are no longer on the roads. Predictive Strategies is working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to locate these hard-to-find vehicles using data and analytics, including DRN vehicle location data. This real-time license plate recognition (LPR) data can help solve the problems of data decay and inaccurate self-reported data.
The other obstacle in recall completion is motivating owners to take action on the needed repair. Flexibility and innovation can be key to solving this challenge, and we’re seeing the industry create new ways to encourage owners to make repairs. These include mobile repair options, pickup/delivery or towing services and loaner cars. Virtual services like webchat and online scheduling platforms offer car owners added convenience and flexibility in completing repairs.
Katy and I agreed that the continued improvement of auto recall success comes down to innovation and technology. Digital transformation is a huge trend in the auto industry, influencing how consumers shop for, finance, purchase and even repair vehicles. And when it comes to recalls, creativity and flexibility in finding and influencing vehicle owners can save lives and help make our roads safer for all of us.
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