…As Owners and Dealers Ignore Recalls
[dropcap]M[/dropcap]illions of motorists are putting themselves and other road users at risk by not getting dangerous faults fixed, even though the repairs would be carried out for free. There is now a call to make recall checks part of the annual MoT test and force owners to have their cars repaired.
In essence, thousands of such vehicles have been imported to Nigeria, as Tokunbo vehicles, and second hand owners riding them about without noticing the deadly defects awaiting to act one day, like a killer bomb.
An investigation by Auto Express revealed that owners are ignoring
official recall notices issued by car manufacturers to fix safety problems such as faulty airbags, fire risks and problems with steering and brakes.
Many of the issues go unnoticed as they do not affect the way the car drives initially, but could cause a sudden failure or be deadly in an accident.
Despite the danger, government figures from the Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) reveal 2.2 million models were affected by recalls but just 47.7 per cent went back to dealers for the free-of-charge repairs being offered.
Now the magazine is calling for MoT tests to include a check to make sure recall repairs have been carried out.
The top 10 list of recalls since 2012 is led by an airbag fault which affected millions of models from BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota.
BMW’s recall rate for its driver airbag failure is just 1.5 per cent, while Toyota has only fixed a quarter of cars.
The high-profile Vauxhall Zafira fire recall has a better 69.7 per cent recall rate.
John McIlroy, deputy editor of Auto Express, said: “It’s scandalous that so many dangerous cars are driving around with faults which could
test has been proven to be effective, so should become compulsory for all makers to make sure cars don’t slip through the net. A car should not be deemed roadworthy by a tester if it has an outstanding recall logged.”
Unfortunately many of the unfixed recalled vehicles are what find their ways into the shore of Nigeria as Tokunbo and thousands of Nigerians are riding them with pride, with children and sometimes entire family in them.
And concerning general recall, Motoring World Nigeria found out that very few auto franchise dealers in Nigeria bother to announce vehicle recalls, whenever auto makers announce them from the brand’s country of manufacture.
When contacted in the past, management of certain auto dealership in Nigeria argued that the company needed not to announce a vehicle recalled from its country of origin, because, in their views, cause of recall was restricted to that country only. Yet the problem had tto do with airbags, which was supplied to the maker of the car by Takata.
In essence, many lives that have been lost via road accidents around the world, including Nigeria, could have been due to failure of auto dealers to announce recalled vehicles or refusal of new car buyers to return recalled vehicles in their possession, especially those affected by problem of Takata’s killer airbags.
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