Car shoppers don’t care about recalls

Before you get all angry about the link bait title, try this stat on for size. Since April 13th, 2014 there have been nearly 350,000 Tweets with the word “recall” according to Topsy. This doesn’t even come close to the nearly 800,000 Tweets containing the word “vampire” or 1.4M Tweets containing the word “taco.” Tweets about recalls does, however, beat the 49 Tweets containing “vampire taco.”

Tweets of Recalls Tacos Vampires GraphUsing social queues like keywords isn’t totally indicative of what shoppers care about, so we went further. In a study of over 35,000 email leads to car dealerships on, only two people asked about a vehicle recall. TWO! That’s .005 percent! This is interesting because as automakers continue breaking records left and right by recalling millions of vehicles for anything from spiders to electronic issues, shoppers still don’t care. If they do care about recalls, they definitely aren’t showing it in Tweets or emails to dealers. It would seem recalls are more important to the small number of people directly affected by said recalls, the government and the media.

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Government involvement draws awareness to a public safety issue – car manufacturers, dealerships and rental agencies are letting people get behind the wheels of recalled cars. The government can prevent this type of thing from happening through legislation which is definitely a good thing.

Then there’s the media. They make it seem like manufacturers and their dealers and the rental agencies are greedy and care more about the bottom line than personal safety. This might be true for manufacturers, but for dealerships or rental agencies, it does beg the question, why would they fix a recall if shoppers aren’t demanding it?

Written by Max Katsarelas