Automotive recalls are facts of life. Some of the problems never cause serious harm to drivers. Others result in massive class action lawsuits in Ohio and throughout the country.
New safety app
Notification speed sometimes makes the difference between an effective recall and a tragedy. A mobile application from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, SaferCar, could help communicate serious defects more quickly to drivers.
The way the app works is simple. According to the initial press release from the NHTSA, users enter vehicle information to establish a virtual garage. for privacy and security, the program keeps this information on the device, rather than a remote database.
Once the driver enters the information, the app checks the existing NHTSA system periodically for any relevant recalls. A notification appears upon retrieval of relevant defect information.
This could be especially useful for those who drive rare or second-hand cars. These recalls might not make the news, or there could be communication problems when delivering vital information.
There is also potential for maintaining oversight of many different cars. Family members, fleet managers and so on could maintain a garage of all important vehicles and receive updates as needed.
Many car owners already know that the NHTSA website offers defect information through a standard web browser. Users may simply enter the VIN number and receive a list of recalls.
The app expands on that system. The main improvements include optimization for mobile devices and automation of recall notifications.
This app could increase the speed and saturation of recall announcements. Hopefully, it helps reduce the severity and frequency of the serious injuries that manufacturing and design defects cause. Of course, it is still important to hold the powerful automotive industry accountable for its actions through class action lawsuits, when necessary.