Auto Safety Recall Trends in 2020

In recent years, more auto safety recalls are pertaining to defective integrated electrical components rather than software defects. While the Takata airbag recall remains the most expansive and ongoing—it still remains active since it began in 2016—other recalls involving emissions issues, EV batteries, and engines have been announced in recent months. Let’s take a look at some of the auto safety recall trends in 2020.

2020 Auto Safety Recall Highlights

Several major safety recalls were issued in 2020, including one involving a faulty Toyota fuel pump affecting 3.3 million vehicles. Toyota issued another recall over a malfunctioning airbag electronic control unit that could disable proper airbag deployment, which impacted 2.9 million vehicles. A faulty door latch in 2.1 million Ford vehicles also made the list. Additionally, Nissan recalled 1.8 vehicles over a defective hood latch.

Increase in Driver-Assist System Issues

As new technologies evolve, so does their potential to malfunction. Drivers are reporting numerous issues with driver-assist and automatic systems, such as emergency braking systems engaging for no reason or an overactive alert system warning of an obstacle ahead that isn’t actually there. Concerned consumers can report these defects to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Investigators assess these reports and determine whether they warrant an official safety recall.

Fewer Drivers Sought Recall Repairs in 2020

When the manufacturer issues a safety recall, they notify the affected customers and encourage them to visit the local dealer to receive the replacement part. However, the COVID-19 pandemic slowed completion percentages, as fewer people followed through on receiving these services. As pandemic restrictions ease around the country in the coming months, auto safety experts urge consumers to seek these repairs before taking to the open road.


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