Study Of Auto Recalls Shows Carmakers Delay Announcements Until They ‘Hide In The Herd’

Automotive recalls are occurring at record levels, but seem to be announced after inexplicable delays. A research study of 48 years of auto recalls announced in the United States finds carmakers frequently wait to make their announcements until after a competitor issues a recall – even if it is unrelated to similar defects.

This suggests that recall announcements may not be triggered solely by individual firms’ product quality defect awareness or concern for the public interest, but may also be influenced by competitor recalls, a phenomenon that no prior research had investigated.