Captain Obvious: IIHS Says Vehicles Taken In for Fire-Related Recalls Suffer Fewer Fires

By Jacob Brown | April 01, 2014
Every year, 200,000 cars go up in smoke on American roads. That's a lot. But, remarkably, many of them probably could have been prevented by something as simple as paying attention to one's mail. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety in conjunction with its Highway Data Loss Institute recently studied vehicles well-known for fire-related issues and compared them to average numbers across the industry. The organizations found that the defected, soon-to-be-recalled vehicles were 23 percent more likely to suffer from a fire than the average car. After a recall was issued to the public, these same vehicles were just 12 percent more likely than average to catch fire. "As one would hope, recalls mitigate the effect of fire-related defects," says HLDI Vice President Matt Moore in a statement. "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."
The IIHS studied vehicles no older than eight years. Comparing the data, the organization was able to conclude that engineers are able to work out most of the kinks through recalls. After a few high-profile fires such as the Fisker Karma catching fire and a 2015 GMC Yukon alighting during a test drive in California, it's a good idea to heed the messages distributed by the automakers. If your car has a chance of catching on fire, and an automaker issues a recall notice, pay attention. It's for your own good. Source: IIHS