Takata Readies Advertising Campaign To Combat "Recall Fatigue" | Edmunds

Takata Readies Advertising Campaign To Combat "Recall Fatigue"

WASHINGTON — Takata Corp., the Japanese airbag supplier at the center of a massive recall crisis, said it will launch a new advertising campaign aimed at millions of consumers in an effort to combat what it calls "recall fatigue."

The proposed campaign, which was detailed on Tuesday in a posting on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Web site, features the words: "URGENT CAR AIRBAG RECALL NOTICE: Your car airbag inflator needs to be replaced."

The intent of the campaign, which is expected to kick off sometime in August, is to prompt owners of affected cars to schedule service appointments at dealerships to complete the repair.

Defective Takata airbags have been linked to eight deaths and more than 100 injuries. The recall affects approximately 32 million vehicles in the U.S. by 11 automakers.

Takata said it also intends to work with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to "propose a direct mailing to affected auto insurance customers." The mailing would encourage affected policyholders to respond to the recalls.

IIHS auto-insurance members cover approximately 85 percent of the U.S. market, according to Takata.

A new Web site, Airbagrecall.com, would also urge owners to get vehicles fixed under the "Get the Word Out" campaign.

Takata said it would focus the ad campaign first on high-humidity areas, including Florida, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi.

The campaign will begin with a 30-day test phase to determine which approaches, including mobile alerts, are producing the highest engagement with consumers.

Federal safety regulators must approve the campaign as part of a consent order that Takata agreed to this spring.

Recall fatigue is a growing concern among consumer advocates and legislators.
U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) described "an overwhelming sense of recall fatigue" during a recent Takata Congressional hearing.

American consumers have been subjected to a record number of recalls that they may sometimes decide to ignore. Automakers have been scrambling to come up with incentives to get affected owners into dealerships for service appointments.

General Motors, for example, gave out perks including gift cards and tickets to the Texas State Fair, as an incentive for bringing vehicles into dealerships during the recall for defective ignition switches, a GM spokeswoman told Edmunds.

Takata also filed a proposed airbag-testing plan with NHTSA to find the root cause of the problems. However, the posted proposal is mainly blank on the NHTSA Web site because the supplier said it is confidential.

Edmunds says: This is yet another reminder to consumers to get their vehicles into dealerships for a repair if they are included in the Takata airbag recall.

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