Recalls Dramatically Reduce Risk of Fire-Related Defects, New Study Says | Edmunds

Recalls Dramatically Reduce Risk of Fire-Related Defects, New Study Says


Just the Facts:
  • Consumers should pay attention to vehicle recall notices because a new study found that recalls dramatically reduce the risk of fire-related defects.
  • The Highway Loss Data Institute studied insurance losses from non-crash fires from 2007-'12 vehicles up to eight years old.
  • In the years prior to a recall, the claim frequency for vehicles with fire-related defects was 23 percent higher than for other vehicles; after the recall, the claim frequency was only 12 percent higher.

ARLINGTON, Virginia Consumers should pay attention to vehicle recall notices because a new study found that recalls dramatically reduce the risk of fire-related defects.

The Highway Loss Data Institute studied insurance losses from non-crash fires from 2007-'12 vehicles up to eight years old.

In the years prior to a recall, the claim frequency for vehicles with fire-related defects was 23 percent higher than for other vehicles; after the recall, the claim frequency was only 12 percent higher.

The study compared the rate of non-crash fire claims for vehicles with a known fire-related defect for which a recall was issued with the rate of claims for vehicles without such defects. Defects that can cause fires include such things as electrical problems or fuel-system defects.

"As one would hope, recalls mitigate the effect of fire-related defects," said Matt Moore, Highway Loss Data Institute vice president, in a statement on Thursday. "However, even after recalls are issued, these vehicles continue to have higher claim rates. This may be a result of people not following up after receiving a recall notice."

Vehicle fires without a crash are rare. The overall rate of such claims for all vehicles up to eight years old during 2007-'12 was 2.6 per 10,000 insured vehicle years.

"This study shows that recalls are issued for a reason and they are effective at reducing risk," Moore said.

The Highway Loss Data Institute is an insurance-industry group that studies vehicle crashes.

Edmunds says: When you get a recall notice, don't put off the repairs.

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