Until last Wednesday, the website of the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC) showed 963 recalls for all kinds of vehicles sold in Colombia. This extensive list includes motorcycles, cars, ATVs, jet skis or jet skis, trucks and vans, among others.
Nor is it to be alarmed, these recalls or calls for review are becoming more frequent and its objective is to correct or prevent – regardless of the age of the vehicle – failures or problems caused by premature wear of a part, or when the manufacturer detects an error in the design, in the assembly or in the quality controls.
No vehicle or any brand is exempt from attending these calls. When reviewing the list you will be able to verify that there are models of different lineage: from popular cars and motorcycles to the highest and most expensive units brands, which may have the same supplier in common for one or more components.
To understand it better, what happens is that brands make their cars with parts and components from different suppliers that manufacture them. These auto parts are usually common to many models of different brands. A car can even have parts from different suppliers.
Among these, the best known in the industry are Bosch, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Magna, Denso, Continental AG, Aisin Seiki Co., Faurecia and Valeo, which manufacture all kinds of auto parts. A case that illustrates this situation well was what happened with Takata Corp. Their airbags were defective, and even today, around the world, millions of vehicles of different brands are changing their air bags.
It is for this reason that recalls are frequent. With the huge amount of components from different sources it is it is very probable that there are faults in its manufacture, assembly or operation, which does not exempt brands from responsibility for their product.
Another point to keep in mind is that not necessarily all recalls are serious, a good part of these are made to improve the cars or their conditions safety or comfort.
The most frequent recalls are for power failures, ignition switch, software reprogramming, cables, switches, programming, starter motor, electronic control unit, and lights. They are followed by problems in the finishes, paint, fuel tank, door and hood locks, carpets and floor covering and finally, the faults that most concern users: engine, fuel pump, canister, fuel lines, brackets, clutch, hoses, throttle body or system.
Other causes for recalls, but to a lesser extent, are damage to gearboxes, transmission shafts, gear lever, brakes, safety systems (airbags, pretensioners, seat belts), steering system and suspensions.
How do recalls work?
In Colombia, as almost everywhere in the world, this is a very serious matter and the brands comply with it. By law, manufacturers are required to notify companies authorities – in our case, the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC)– when they detect or have knowledge of a failure, defect or damage in any of their products.
The failure must be reported within three calendar days from the date of being found. The SIC strictly controls compliance and coverage of the ‘security campaign’, which is how the brands and the SIC call these calls. In other words, there are currently 963 active campaigns in Colombia.
When the call starts, the brand has the obligation to locate the people who bought or are using the vehicle, in order to make it available to the “institutional manager” of the campaign, that is, to take the vehicle to a service workshop of the brand’s dealer network.
In turn, the producers or manufacturers, assemblers, importers and representatives of the brand must report within the first eight days of each quarter the progress of the campaign (s) adopted security (s). The SIC may require the presentation of reports more frequently in particular cases.
This obligation is maintained until the end of the campaign, which is determined when the revision of a minimum of 80 percent of the vehicles involved is reached, provided it is shown that efforts were made to contact consumers.
If three months into the security campaign there is no minimum coverage of 45 percent of the total affected units served, or 80 percent in the first year, The SIC can issue all the orders it deems necessary, at the expense of those responsible, to achieve significant progress.
One problem that occurs is when the vehicle changes ownership, but this cannot be an excuse for the brand to locate whoever has it in their possession, for which the call for review is disseminated through notices in newspapers and other mass media.
But be careful the owner also has the obligation to be attentive to this type of information and also to check if there is any current recall for your vehicle.
For this there are several options. The first is to contact the brand’s service centers so that through the VIN (serial that appears on the transit license) check the database if your car has a current call and, if so, inform you of the steps to follow so that the faults are corrected.
Another simpler and faster option is to consult the website of the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce. In the following link: www.sic.gov.co/campanias_de_seguridad. There, by typing the make and model of your car you will find the list of the so-called current review.
What happens if I do not attend the recall? That not all are due to serious failures that endanger the lives of the occupants of the vehicle does not mean that they should not be done, that is, it is an obligation. In any case, Not finding out about it can be very expensive if an accident occurs for not correcting the fault, more if it is proven that it was not done due to the owner’s negligence.
The campaigns, regardless of the failure –be it serious or slight– that occurs, they have no cost to the owner of the vehicle, which is why there are no reasons not to take the car for inspection. Nor do they mean a ‘weakness’ of the brand or an inri for your car, on the contrary, it speaks well of the manufacturer and its responsibility to its customers.