US study: Why the number of recalls is increasing dramatically

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Why the number of recalls is increasing dramatically

US study: Why the number of recalls is increasing dramatically-number

In 2013, 20.5 million cars had to go to the workshop due to a shortage in the reference market USA

Source: ADAC

The Hyundai-Kia group is the 2013 recall king in the USA. BMW also has an above-average bad rate. The carmaker’s drive for growth can make the situation even worse.

F.luch and blessing are closely related in the automotive industry: as more and more electronics are being built into cars and at the same time manufacturers are using more and more identical components in order to reduce costs, the risk of technical defects has increased, according to a study.

In the USA alone, the number of cars and light commercial vehicles ordered back to the workshops rose by a third to over 20.5 million vehicles in the past year, according to the Center of Automotive Management (CAM) in Bergisch Gladbach. "Where there is more, more can break," said institute director Stefan Bratzel.

He had the US market examined because, because of the high safety regulations and the risk of legal action, it is particularly easy to draw conclusions about the quality of the vehicles there. However, the trend applies worldwide, since production is globally networked.

According to the study, the up-and-coming Korean Hyundai / Kia group came out on top with a recall rate of 263 percent. The two brands had to call around 2.7 million vehicles to the workshops in the USA due to deficiencies in brake lights. Another 600,000 had been noticed by the US traffic safety authority NHTSA because of safety defects, including the airbags.

The recently merged Fiat-Chrysler group followed closely behind with a recall rate of 258 percent based on new registrations. The world market leader Toyota, which had already been noticed by many recalls in previous years, also had a high defect rate of 237 percent. Values ‚Äč‚Äčover 100 percent are due to the fact that models from previous years were also affected.

BMW at the front if there are defects

BMW was also well above the average with a defect rate of 233 (previous year 160) percent. The Munich luxury brand had to have 870,000 cars checked in the workshops due to problems with the power supply.

In contrast, the two US automakers GM (28 percent) and Ford (48 percent) were significantly less susceptible. While Volkswagen, including its subsidiaries Audi and Porsche, recorded an increase to twelve (previous year three) percent, Daimler recorded the lowest figure in the industry at 0.2 (previous year six) percent.

However, Bratzel’s institute did not include the recall, with 2.6 million vehicles, which was one of the largest in VW’s corporate history, because no cars were affected in the USA.

High cost pressure dangerous

Bratzel cited the manufacturers’ ambitious growth targets and the increased cost pressure as the reason for the greater vulnerability of many vehicles. Added to this is the increasing technical complexity of vehicles due to anti-lock aids, airbags, driver assistance systems as well as navigation, telephone and internet services.

The risk of recalls is increasing because manufacturers use the same parts and modules in as many models as possible and across multiple brands. At the same time, manufacturers shortened their development cycles in order to bring new models onto the market at ever shorter intervals.

The analysis shows that high growth targets in particular could lead to neglecting quality requirements, warned Bratzel.

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