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Improving Auto Recall Notifications with Enhanced Data

According to the Census Bureau, an average of 11.2% of the population changes their address annually, which means that a huge number of automobiles require updates to their registered addresses every year. Further complicating this issue is the fact that roughly sixty million vehicles are transferred from one owner to another every year (seventeen million new and forty-three million used). For these reasons and many more, access to accurate vehicle owner information is a serious challenge for auto manufacturers.

Current, accurate data is the cornerstone of any successful recall response, particularly when consumers need to be notified and asked to take action to ensure their safety. This is especially true in the case of auto recalls. Given that a notification letter is often the only communication a consumer receives about an auto recall, it’s imperative that each notification reaches its intended recipient. Starting with accurate consumer data is the best way to ensure this happens.

Many Owner Notification Letters result in returned mail, as people rarely update their vehicle registration addresses after moving. Natural disasters like wildfires and hurricanes can also make it especially difficult to reach displaced consumers. Unfortunately, this means that many recall notifications never make it to the correct address. To make matters worse, even if a letter is sent to an incorrect or old address, it doesn’t always result in returned mail—meaning that the manufacturer would have no idea that an affected consumer wasn’t properly notified.

While each manufacturer manages recall notifications with a different mix of internal and external resources (such as print vendors), most rely on data vendors to obtain DMV registration data. Manufacturers trust that this data is current and accurate, but too often this is not the case. By cross-referencing numerous data points from multiple databases to identify an owner’s most recent address, Stericycle’s recall experts bring an unparalleled level of accuracy and efficiency to every auto recall. Starting the process with accurate data and thorough searches increases the odds of using a correct address for an affected consumer from the very beginning.

Prioritizing accurate address data has the added benefit of greatly reducing the amount of returned mail. However, as a second step, any mail that is returned can be used to prompt a follow-up search to target alternate addresses for those specific consumers, increasing the chances of landing on a correct address. Combining this industry-leading data approach with streamlined processes ensures that every auto recall is managed as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Being proactive rather than reactive can make all the difference when alerting consumers to potentially dangerous, time-sensitive situations. Starting with accurate data from multiple sources and simplifying what can be an intense, chaotic process ultimately ensures the safety of drivers, owners, passengers and follow motorists.

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