If in 2021 the United States recorded the all-time record of recalls involving 22.8 million vehicles, the American summer could be remembered as the recall season. The numbers provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) control body in fact write that in June alone, the cars subject to checks for replacements / repairs have well exceeded 3 million.
3 million cars recalled, what’s going on in the US?
by Matteo Morichini
Given that recalls often concern safety, the NHTSA warns of a very delicate situation in view of the holidays of July 4th when 50 million people will travel across the country. “And a good part of them – explains the authoritative site CarFax – will move if a car is recalled for technical repairs because in the streets of the USA, about 50 million cars move with at least one verified fault to be repaired”. With 20 percent of cars in circulation affected by an open recall, the state of Florida is one of the most striking cases of a trend that is certainly not desirable, but nonetheless indicative of the growing complexity in the production and management of the automobile.
Before reviewing the recalls of the month, it is interesting to dwell on the possible causes of the exponential increase in recalls on American soil, immediately writing that not all reasons have a negative connotation, that many revisions concern cars that are no longer new, and that it would be wrong to place the blame on the microchip crisis and the general shortage of raw materials. The most widespread thesis explains how in the last twenty years the recall number has risen steadily because there are more people, more cars circulating (in the States, 14 million are added a year) and the manufacturers have acquired the ability to perform multiple remote diagnostic checks. According to the Director of Automotive Testing of Consumer Report “contemporary cars are safer, more efficient and more efficient but at the same time, they are also much more complicated due to software, electronic devices, forms of artificial intelligence and the massive use of semiconductors”.
In other words, the greater complexity of the vehicles gives rise to a greater probability of breakdowns and malfunctions which in the era of completely connected and over-the-air monitoring are identified and communicated in a few moments, thus making the total number of recalled cars take off.
As for the States, the month of June proved problematic especially for Ford drivers. The Dearborn house has recalled 2.9 million between C-Max, Fusion and Transit Connect, as well as 53,000 Bronco from 2021, 48,924 Mustang Mach-E, 25,032 Mustangs with 5.0 V8 engine and manual transmission (built between 2019-20) and approximately 25,000 F (pickup) and E series vehicles. In the same period General Motors initiated the recall of 235 Cadillac XTs from 2022, 1,534 GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado and 39 HD series trucks. The Honda recall instead concerns 212 CR-Vs of 2020 while Porsche Cars North America recalled 12,490 Taycans built between 2020-22. Volvo Trucks North America also took part in the recent review of the vehicles recalled to order with the recall of 1,632 VN tractors trailers.