Florida’s Airbag Recall Repair Month

The large airbag recall, sometime known as the Takata airbag recall,  poses an unprecedented challenge  to 19 automakers – how do we communicate the severity and urgency of the largest safety recall in U.S. history to Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram drivers as quickly and effectively as possible? With recall completion rates falling nationwide, it became clear that creative tactics outside the scope of a traditional communications campaign were going to be needed. That’s why we launched Airbag Recall Repair Month in May in Florida, where high temperatures and humidity increase the risk of dangerous  airbag inflator ruptures . The campaign we designed used an integrated approach, blanketing Tampa, Orlando, and Miami with digital, radio, and outdoor advertising; news stories; street team canvassers at high-traffic events and locations; increased marketing at local dealerships; and partnerships with local organizations and the Florida DMV to distribute information to vehicle owners wherever possible.

Michael Schmidt, FCA spokesperson, on Channel 6 Orlando

Layering those tactics on top of traditional advertising reinforced the message and provided an opportunity to reach our audience in a variety of ways. As our standard digital, radio, and billboard campaign performed above industry benchmarks, our media coverage communicated the urgency of the airbag recall through trusted local news outlets. Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram spokespeople on the ground in Florida conducted interviews with major news networks, securing 54 news stories across all three markets, including coverage by CBS News Channel 6, the Miami Herald, and the Orlando Sentinel.

A street team member identifying an open Takata airbag recall on a vehicle and leaving information on scheduling a repair

Our street teams met drivers with likely airbag recalls in their communities, distributing information and helping them check for recalls and schedule an appointment with their local dealer. We canvassed large auto events to interact directly with our drivers and drive further recall completions. During the month of May, our street teams checked nearly 18,000 vehicles for open recalls, and found over 1,000 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles with open airbag recalls.

Our efforts paid off. As of the beginning of June, Florida surpassed California to be the second highest completion state for FCA vehicles with Takata airbag recalls, and saw the largest positive trend in number of completions. Florida led the nation in number of clicks to check for recalls on recalls.mopar.com throughout the month, and nearly all participating dealers in our target markets reported a higher-than-normal amount of airbag recall repair appointments. We’re currently exploring partnerships with other automakers through the Check To Protect initiative, led by the National Safety Council, and we are expanding to Texas and California markets, bringing this important message to as many people as possible so FCA can continue to be a leader in efforts to help keep drivers safe on the road.