The impact of product recalls on future product reliability and future accidents: Evidence from the automobile industry

Kartik Kalaignanam, Tarun Kushwaha, Meike Eilert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although the goal of a product recall program is to enhance safety, little is known about whether firms learn from product recalls. This study tests the direct effect of product recalls on future accidents and future recall frequency and their indirect effect through future product reliability in the automobile industry. The authors test the hypotheses on 459 make/year observations involving 27 automobile makers between 1995 and 2011. The findings suggest that increases in recall magnitude lead to decreases in future number of injuries and recalls. This effect, in turn, is partially mediated by future changes in product reliability. The results also suggest that the positive relationship between recall magnitude and future product reliability is (1) stronger for firms with higher shared product assets and (2) weaker for brands of higher prior quality. The findings are robust across alternate measures and alternate model specifications and offer valuable insights for managerial practice and public policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-57
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Marketing
Volume77
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Keywords

  • Accidents
  • Prior brand quality
  • Product recalls
  • Product reliability
  • Shared product assets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

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