Study: Vehicle Recalls More Common After a New Model Launch

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The recall of an automobile is more likely following the launch of a new model, says a study by Stout Risius Ross, a financial advisory firm in Southfield. In a recent review of 220 vehicles, 64 percent of cars and trucks experienced at least one recall in the first year following a model launch, the study says.

“The numbers don’t necessarily reflect an increase over the years,” says Jake Reed, manager at Stout Risius Ross. “It’s more of a historical analysis than a trend analysis. But it demonstrates that recalls are more common following new model launches. New models incorporate new technology, and sometimes new suppliers, assemblies, and components — it might take a while to work the kinks out,” he says.

Consistent with the observations, the study notes that over the last five years, most recalls involved speed control systems, brakes, and airbags. Reed says from 2011 to 2013, numerous recalls involved electrical-related components and systems. “More and more of what’s getting recalled has a technological component to it,” he says.

The information is highly relevant given the number of expected automotive product launches — upward of 40 models this year alone. However, Reed points out not all launches involve new cars and trucks, as numerous vehicles are refreshed within two or three years.

Overall, the research sets the groundwork for future studies, Reed says, given the ever-increasing number of new automotive products as well as the stress placed on quality and innovation.

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