The Effects of Automobile Recalls on the Severity of Accidents
Hugo Benitez-Silva; Yong-Kyun Bae;
Subject: Automobile Recalls, Safety Regulation, Vehicle Defects, Car Accidents.
jel: jel:L51 | jel:L62
The number of automobile recalls in the U.S. has substantially increased over the last two decades, and after a record of over 30 million cars recalled in 2004, in the last few years it has consistently reached between 15 and 17 million, and in 2009 alone 16.4 million c... View more
1While it is possible to find cases of large recalls which were linked to few complaints and even fewer accidents or fatalities, this should not be taken as evidence that these problems are not serious. If we naively believe that the probability of recall-related accidents are too low, and we leave in the hands of the manufacturers the mandate of not putting unsafe vehicles on the road, the price to pay will likely be preventable accidents, injuries, and lives. At the very least the profession should seriously tackle the question of understanding the effects of recalls, this paper is a rare step in this direction, and we hope our work encourages others to research this issue.
2Motor Vehicle Defects and Safety Recalls: What Every Vehicle Owner Should Know, NHTSA, 2009.
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