US consumers are divided about giving car brands another chance after recall. What’s stopping them?
August 30th, 2023, Janice Fernandes

US consumers are divided about giving car brands another chance after recall. What’s stopping them?

Recently, Hyundai and Kia recalled a significant number of cars because of a fire risk and Tesla recalled vehicles due to a seat belt issue. The issue of product recalls isn't unique to the automobile industry; various sectors have faced similar challenges.

This article delves into how consumer behavior is impacted by these recalls, focusing on a study conducted in the United States, to examine how likely consumers are to buy from a company again after a recall incident.

Polling data suggests that US adults are loyal to the brands they purchase, because despite instances of safety concerns or mislabeled packaging, a significant portion of respondents would still buy from the same brand again. Around half of respondents would purchase dairy products (51%), packaged goods and beverages (51%), electronics (49%) and mobile phones (49%) from the same brand.

In the automobile and car accessories category, an equal proportion of consumers are likely to purchase from the same brand as they are unlikely to do so (40% each).

The only categories where US consumers are more likely to express reluctance to purchase from the same brand after experiencing a recall are medicine or medical products (48%) and children’s toys (45%).

Why are consumers reluctant to purchase from the same brand after a recall?

More than two-thirds of US adults cite safety or product quality concerns as a reason for not purchasing from the brand again (69%).

Loss of trust in the brand also plays a significant role with over half of respondents (53%) saying it’s why they would be less likely to repurchase from the brand.

Around two in five consumers would be less likely to purchase a car from the same manufacturer because of the brand’s handling of the recall (43%) and personal experience with a faulty product (41%).

Past experiences with the brand (34%) and negative reviews or media coverage (31%) are the other reasons why consumers would be less likely to purchase from the company.

Word of mouth appears to have the least impact with around one-fifth of consumers picking it as a reason why they wouldn’t purchase from a brand again after a recall (22%).

Despite the reservations many hold about buying from a brand post-recall, more than one in five of those who are unlikely to repurchase from the same carmaker still believe brands generally handle product recalls responsibly and transparently (44%). This suggests a general level of confidence in how auto companies manage recalls.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on August 28-29, 2023, with a nationally representative sample of 1,178 adults in the United States (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education and region to be representative of all adults. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

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