OEMs respond to official statistics showing fourth consecutive annual increase in HGV, PSV and van recalls13 July 2018

Official statistics released in June show the fourth consecutive annual increase in the number of recalls launched for heavy goods vehicles and heavy goods vehicles, both in terms of the number of separate recalls launched, and the number of vehicles involved.

In the fiscal year to 31 March 2018, there were 69 recalls launched, affecting 85,640 heavy goods vehicles, compared to half that number, 38, four years ago, which affected only 25,000 vehicles. The acceleration of the rise is even more significant in the bus and coach sector, where there were more than four times as many recalls launched over the same period (27 versus 6), affecting six times as many vehicles (6,533 compared to 1,036).

A similar trend has occurred for passenger cars and vans, the figures show, but not for motorcycles or special-purpose vehicles, or components including HGV trailers, private trailers, tyres and wheels.

Representatives of two HGV manufacturers polled for this came back with potential explanations for this trend.

Martin Flach, alternative fuels director at Iveco, suggested that it might have to do with the increasing complexity of the vehicles. He added that although the statistics were interesting, they were too general to allow one to draw specific conclusions.

Mark Grant, aftersales director, Scania, said: “What we are seeing in the statistics is not a reflection of vehicles getting worse; it’s more the environment that we’re in today.”

He adds: “It’s a case of better safe than sorry.”

OEMs are becoming ever more safety-conscious, pushed partly by legislation and partly by lawsuits, explains Grant. “If we see any risk at all, we take a more proactive view of that [and issue a recall]. That’s in line with the rise in safety standards, and rising quality.”

As to the latter, he continues: “It used to be that improvements [in a model] would get to a certain point and level out. Now, the issues that we have seen in vehicles are less and less, and quality is going up and up. I think that’s due to better materials and better build quality.”

Vehicle safety defect investigations, recalls and collision investigations data for Great Britain: (https://is.gd/locawi)

Will Dalrymple

Related Companies
Scania (Great Britain) Ltd

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