Do Auto Recalls Benefit the Public?

6 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2009

See all articles by Kevin M. McDonald

Kevin M. McDonald

VW Credit, Inc.; Washington University School of Law

Date Written: June 21, 2009


The benefits of personal transportation in the United States come at significant costs to society. Reducing the costs, both in terms of lives and economics, should be the primary mission of transportation safety policy. One opportunity to do this involves vehicle safety recalls. In rare cases, recalls can save lives and reduce injuries. In many cases however, recalls just generate additional costs with little or no benefit.

Keywords: NHTSA, automotive recall, crashworthiness, FMVSS, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act

JEL Classification: R48, R40, L50, L51, K13

Suggested Citation

McDonald, Kevin M., Do Auto Recalls Benefit the Public? (June 21, 2009). Regulation, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp 12-18, Summer 2009, Available at SSRN:

Kevin M. McDonald (Contact Author)

VW Credit, Inc. ( email )

2200 Woodland Pointe Ave.
Herndon, VA 20171
United States
571-314-2761 (Phone)


Washington University School of Law ( email )

Campus Box 1120
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States


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